New fund for regional tourism facilities

Friday, May 13, 2016

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean says Government is coming to the party in providing more support for regional tourism.

Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key announced today that Budget 2016 will include $12 million dollars, over four years, for a new Regional Tourism Facilities Fund.

The fund will help communities with small infrastructure projects that enhance visitor experiences and help them cope with growing numbers of tourists and independent travellers, such as Freedom Campers.

Mrs Dean, who is also Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism, says tapping into the fund could benefit the Mackenzie District in particular. "I've spoken at length with local councillors and ratepayers who have been concerned that Lake Tekapo is struggling under the sheer weight of tourist numbers.

"There has been increasing pressure on public facilities and with greater numbers comes a need to update and improve rubbish disposal, roads and public toilets. With a relatively small ratepayer base, there is a need for some support and this funding announcement acknowledges that."

The $12 million funding boost is on top of the over $130 million a year the Government currently spends on assisting the tourism sector. The Budget will also see a further $8 million go to Tourism New Zealand over four years to target key growth markets such as India and the eastern seaboard of the United States.