2020 Tourism Recovery Package 

The government’s $400 million Tourism Recovery Package was implemented in 2020 to support the industry to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Budget overview of the $400 million Tourism Recovery Package

Project Funds committed Total funds committed
Total Tourism Recovery Package Budget $400,000,00

Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme (STAPP) $217,328,908
STAPP Grants $66,352,902  
STAPP Loans $104,276,006  
Regional Tourism Organisations $20,200,000  
Inbound Tour Operators $18,500,000  
Loan administration costs $8,000,000  
Tourism Transitions Programme $15,000,000
Digital Capability  $10,000,000
Regional Events Fund  $50,000,000
New Zealand Māori Tourism  $12,000,000
Department of Conservation waiver  $19,678,000
Tourism Futures Taskforce  $486,772
MBIE support costs $1,750,000

Total funds committed to the Tourism Recovery Package $326,243,680
Total underspend of the Tourism Recovery Package $73,756,320*

*This underspend will be returned to the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF).

Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme (STAPP)

The Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme (STAPP) was intended to protect the assets in the tourism landscape that form the core of our essential tourism offerings to ensure their survival through the disruption caused by COVID-19. The programme also considered assets that are culturally and historically significant.

Applications for support through the programme closed on 18 June 2020.

Read about the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme decisions and allocation

Funding recipients for the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme

Tourism Transitions Programme

The Tourism Transitions Programme was established to provide support and advice to tourism businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. It includes three key programmes of work:

  1. Support through New Zealand Māori Tourism: $2 million was allocated to New Zealand Māori Tourism due to an ongoing need for business support for Māori tourism businesses. The funding has been earmarked to deliver MBR Tāpoi - a service to support Māori tourism businesses. For further information, email tapoi@maoritourism.co.nz.

  2. Support through Qualmark: Qualmark received $5 million to establish a free advisory service to support tourism businesses as they navigate the impacts of COVID-19. The Tourism Advisory Support Service is available to provide advice to businesses on things like how to transition their business for the domestic market, strategy development, and moving in and out of hibernation.

    Qualmark is the New Zealand tourism industry’s official quality assurance organisation, providing a trusted guide to quality travel experiences.  Qualmark uses a network of tourism business advisors to evaluate tourism businesses against key quality assurance standards in areas of finance and operations, people management, environment and culture, health safety and wellness.

    Businesses can find out about what support may be available to them, or register their interest for support, by visiting the Qualmark website(external link).

  3. Support through the Regional Business Partners network: The Regional Business Partners Network (RBPN) received $10 million for supporting small-medium tourism businesses impacted by COVID-19 to get expert advice. Eligible businesses will receive vouchers of up to $5,000 to access advice and expertise to support business continuity.

    Businesses with a tourism focus looking for support from the RBPN business advisory service should visit the Regional Business Partner Network information(external link) on the COVID-19 website for more information including eligibility criteria.

Digital capability

This $10 million fund is helping tourism businesses to develop digital strategies, access digital tools and benefit from existing government digital enablement initiatives. The fund is split between two separate initiatives.

Support through Qualmark

$5 million of the digital capability funding has been made available to Qualmark, the tourism industry’s quality assurance organisation. The Qualmark funding is helping tourism operators to access specialist advice to lift their digital capability.  Areas where support is available include digital marketing, website performance and social media content and creation. 

This programme has a practical focus, with tourism operators able to improve their knowledge and practical capability through workshops and one-to-one programmes.  It also builds on the support that Qualmark has been providing to tourism operators through its Tourism Advisory Support Service.

Tourism operators do not need to be registered with Qualmark to access this support.

Please visit the Qualmark website for more information and to register your interest.

Qualmark website(external link)

Small Business Digital Boost

The remaining $5 million of funding has focussed on tourism small-medium tourism businesses and supplements a digital enablement programme –  the Small Business Digital Boost initiative. This initiative is helping tourism operators to find and use the right tools to digitise their business.  Key parts include:

  • A Spotlight Series where small business owners who have recently transformed their business by becoming digital can share their experiences with other small business owners.
  • Delivery of digital skills training and support focused on enabling small-medium tourism businesses to benefit from digitising their business.
  • Working with the private sector to put together the most relevant digital tools, technologies, products and services to support small businesses with becoming digital.

Visit the Digital Boost website for more details and how to register for this support: www.digitalboost.co.nz(external link)

Regional Events Fund

Events are an important part of the New Zealand domestic tourism landscape. Tourism New Zealand research indicates that up to 1/3 of domestic travel is primarily driven by people looking to participate in events.

This $50 million Regional Events Fund is designed to stimulate the domestic tourism market by supporting existing events to continue to operate, or supporting new events to form.

More information about the Regional events fund

New Zealand Māori Tourism

$10 million has been allocated to New Zealand Māori Tourism to support a combination of:

  • supplementing the $2 million allocated for Tāpoi;
  • training opportunities for Māori tourism operators;
  • training opportunities for rangatahi (youth);
  • business support;
  • regional initiatives;
  • research; and
  • mentoring

Department of Conservation concessions waiver

This is a $25 million allocation, with an actual spend of $19.678 million, to offset the payment of tourism concession fees to the Department of Conservation. Fees have been waived for the period 1 March 2020 until the end of June 2021 providing cash flow for tourism businesses but also maintaining investment in conservation that these fees normally contribute to. For more information see the announcement on 26 June 2020(external link)(external link).

In May 2021, the Minister of Tourism announced as part of the Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan, the extension fee waiver for DOC’s for a further six months (until 1 January 2022). More information on the Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan can be found here: https://www.mbie.govt.nz/immigration-and-tourism/tourism/tourism-recovery/(external link).

The former Tourism Recovery Ministers Group

Decision making regarding the $400 million Tourism Recovery Package was made by the Tourism Recovery Ministers Group during COVID-19. Members included Ministers of Tourism, Finance, Māori Development, Conservation, and the Under Secretary of Regional Economic Development. The Group was not reformed after the election.

For more detail on the Tourism Recovery Ministers Group, see the “COVID-19 Response: Tourism Sector Recovery Plan (DEV-20-MIN-0080)” paper.

COVID-19 Response: Tourism sector recovery plan(external link)

New Zealand Tourism Futures Taskforce

This former public-private taskforce was set up to lead the thinking on the future of tourism in New Zealand. Members consisted of cross-government and tourism sector representatives and led recommendations on further policy and regulatory reform in the sector.

Further information about the Tourism Futures Taskforce

Read the Tourism Futures Taskforce interim report – We are Aotearoa

Tourism New Zealand initiatives

Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) is supporting the recovery of the sector by stimulating domestic tourism. This work involves the provision of new tools, data and insights on the domestic market to industry, the ‘Do Something New, New Zealand’ marketing campaign, industry engagement, and other activity to ensure the tourism industry is well positioned for recovery.

Find out more and stay up to date with TNZ’s domestic work on the New Zealand market page of their corporate website.

New Zealand market(external link)

TNZ is also doing work to keep the New Zealand brand alive internationally to ensure New Zealand is top of mind for international travellers when borders re-open.

Find out more about TNZ’s international work on the International market page of their corporate website.

International market(external link)