Tourism recovery

The government’s $200m Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan targets 5 communities and the national tourism system. It will provide immediate support for those communities and encourage the tourism sector’s transformation in the long-term.

Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan

The Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan targets 5 New Zealand communities and the businesses that are part of those communities.

The 5 communities are: Kaikōura, Mackenzie District, Queenstown Lakes, Fiordland, and South Westland.

As a result of COVID-19, these communities were identified because of a high dependence on international tourism on their local economies, and from experiencing significant downturn across their key industries.

The Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan also provides nationwide support for the tourism sector. This will enable the re-set of tourism to be more sustainable and resilient.

Work is currently underway to implement the Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan. Details on how the Plan will be implemented are currently being designed.

Once these decisions are finalised, further information on the implementation of the Plan will become available.

The $200 million Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan includes:

Target area Initiative Fund allocation
5 communities Psychological and social wellbeing of people Place-based support available from expert support personnel, and other support initiatives, such as community well-being events, and mental health first aid training. $4,500,000
5 communities Business advisory support For businesses to receive tailored business advice. $10,000,000 ($5,000 per business)
5 communities Grants for businesses to implement advisory support For businesses that have received advice to then implement it. $10,000,000 ($5,000 per business)
5 communities Tourism Kick-start Fund Initiative to be developed to support businesses to boost their return to market. $49,000,000
Te Anau / Milford Milford Opportunities Project This is to fund the next phase of the fundamental redevelopment of Milford Sound Piopiotahi and the surrounding region to protect the local environment, and to increase the sustainability and quality of visitors’ experiences. This includes detailed planning, consenting, community consultation and preparation for the necessary infrastructure build. $15,000,000
Queenstown Lakes District Queenstown Lakes Economic Transformation and Resilience Fund To support Queenstown’s development of alternative industries to increase its resilience, as a major hub of the lower South Island. $20,000,000
Nationwide Grants to Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) RTOs play an important role in supporting the tourism sector. The tourism sector depends on capable, secure and adequately resourced RTOs that lead and coordinate activities in their regions, alongside the tourism industry, stakeholders, Māori/iwi and communities.

$26 million has been allocated to RTOs to manage, plan, promote, and market tourism activities in their regions. This funding is for the 2021/2022 financial year, and is in addition to the $20.2 million in grants that was allocated to RTOs through the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme (STAPP) in 2020/2021.

Overall, this investment will support RTOs to implement destination management and planning, and be used to encourage more people to explore their regions. The funding will also allow RTOs to support the broader tourism sector, stimulate regional demand, increase industry capability, and progress the goals of the New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy.

Investment plans will need to be completed by each RTO and submitted to MBIE with appropriate approvals anytime between 11 May, 2021 and Sunday 20 June, 2021.

A table of approved RTO funding will be included on this page in due course.
Nationwide Tourism Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) The Tourism ITP is a government partnership with tourism businesses and members of the tourism workforce, iwi, researchers and independent advisers. The Tourism ITP will build on recent work by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Tourism Futures Taskforce and Climate Change Commission, among others, to transform tourism in New Zealand to a more sustainable model. $10,000,000
Nationwide Support for Māori Tourism businesses A further announcement regarding Māori Tourism will be made in June 2021. TBC
Nationwide Department of Conservation (DOC) Funds to extend the current temporary fee waiver for DOC’s concessionaries (due to expire on 30 June 2021) for a further 6 months (until 1 January 2022). To be deployed by the DOC*. $10,000,000
Nationwide Conversion of Inbound Tour Operator (ITO) loans to grants (up to $500,000 per ITO) Conversion of up to $500,000 per ITO of the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme (STAPP) loans to grants. This is for ITOs that accepted and received STAPP loans in 2020. ITOs promote and sell New Zealand travel packages to offshore buyers, such as wholesalers, travel agents, meeting planners, and event managers. $14,000,000
Nationwide Tourism Infrastructure Fund Funding of a further round of the Tourism Infrastructure Fund. This is to support communities by co-funding infrastructure that is significantly used by visitors to prepare for the return of international tourists. $16,500,000
Total fund committed $200,000,000

If you have any questions about the Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan, please contact:

*If you have any questions for the Department of Conservation on this component of the Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan, please contact:

Last updated: 06 May 2021