The newly launched $1bn Provincial Growth Fund is a real “shot in the arm” for the regions being targeted, says the Tourism Export Council NZ.
TECNZ chief executive Judy Chen said her organisation was delighted that regional tourism product developments are among the first to benefit from the initial round of the PGF.
“The identified new tourism ventures will be attractive for international tourists and TECNZ members will work with providers to look at including them in future tourist itineraries,” said Chen.
The $1bn per annum fund was launched in Gisborne on Friday and aims to enhance economic development, create sustainable jobs and contribute to community well-being.
The first regional packages would support Northland, Tairāwhiti-East Coast, Hawke’s Bay and Manawatū-Whanganui and the West Coast of the South Island.
Tourism investment announced included $4.6m towards the Manea Footprints of Kupe Cultural Heritage and Education Centre in Opononi and $1m for 2019’s first encounter commemorations in Gisborne.
“These type of developments are in huge demand by international tourists and will help address the regional dispersal challenges the industry faces, i.e., creating opportunities outside the usual hotspots to both spread the tourism load and boost regional economic development,” said Chen.
“Feedback from our members is that overseas tourists want authentic New Zealand experiences and will travel distances to the regions to experience them. Inbound tourism operators have a crucial role to play in supporting such tourism ventures and it’s very exciting to see where the regional funding is going. We are very pleased.”