Another cash lifeline is being rolled out to New Zealand regions after the approval of funding towards a wide range of events and activities to stimulate domestic tourism.

Contracts have now been signed with all nine regional tourism groupings to enable the $50 million Regional Events Fund to be distributed around the country.

“Event organisers and tourism operators from Northland to Southland will benefit from the events outlined in the plans from their regional organisations,” said Tourism Minister, Stuart Nash.

“Events drive visitors, which brings economic spin-offs across the accommodation, hospitality and wider tourism and retail sectors. The Regional Events Fund was part of the government’s $400 million Tourism Recovery package.

“As well as stimulating local economies, the Regional Events Fund will also strengthen regions’ event management expertise and event strategy development,” he said.

“Before COVID-19 around 60% ($24 billion) of tourism spending was from domestic travellers getting out and experiencing their own backyard. Kiwis also spent a further $9 billion on overseas trips every year.

“We are working to catch a portion of that spending while our borders remain closed to keep us safe from the global pandemic.”

Nash said recent research by Tourism NZ has highlighted that a regional event, such as a festival, concert or food and beverage experience, is a major drawcard for Kiwis planning a domestic holiday.

“Now that tourism events funding has been approved to all regions, each regional grouping can get on with the job of planning and putting their proposal into action,” he said.

“Regions decide how to spend their own funds and will collaborate to avoid competing against each other.”

“Overall, we can expect to see a range of exciting activities and events to tempt New Zealanders to travel between regions from autumn onwards.

“Work to support and rebuild the tourism and hospitality sectors remains ongoing.”

Regional allocations are as follows:

Northland & Auckland marketing alliance: Auckland Unlimited, Northland Inc:
$19 million

Thermal Explorer Highway marketing alliance: Destination Rotorua, Destination Great Lake Taupō, Visit Ruapehu, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism: $3.75 million

Pacific Coast Highway marketing alliance: Western Bay of Plenty Tourism and Visitors Trust, Hawke’s Bay Tourism, Trust Tairāwhiti, Destination Coromandel: $2 million

Western North Island marketing alliance: Venture Taranaki, Whanganui & Partners, Central Economic Development Agency: $1 million

Wellington & Wairarapa marketing alliance: WellingtonNZ, Destination Wairarapa: $3.5 million

Canterbury & West Coast marketing alliance: ChristchurchNZ, Venture Timaru, Hurunui Tourism, Development West Coast, Destination Kaikōura, Mackenzie Tourism: $7 million

Southern Lakes marketing alliance: Destination Queenstown, Lake Wanaka Tourism, Tourism Central Otago, Destination Fiordland: $8.5 million

Pure Southern Land marketing alliance: Enterprise Dunedin, Great South, Tourism Waitaki, Development Clutha: $1.5 million

For more information, visit the Regional Events Fund website here.

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