Process, eligibility and decision making

Applications have now closed for the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme. This page outlines the process, and eligibility criteria. All Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme decisions were made by the former Tourism Recovery Ministers Group.


The Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme (STAPP) is a six step process

stapp apply process

Eligibility for businesses

The objective of this programme is to support assets that are strategically important and that significantly contribute to their local region and tourism in New Zealand. Eligibility was very targeted, and applications were required to meet all 3 of the eligibility criteria.

Is the asset a tourism asset?

For the purposes of this Programme the definition of a tourism asset has been adapted from the statistical definition of a tourism characteristic industry use in the Tourism Satellite Accounts to describe tourism operations in scope.

Tourism Operations -  a tourism characteristic business is one where either:

at least 25 percent of the operations’ output is purchased by tourists, or the operations output includes a tourism-characteristic product.

Tourism Assets: you must meet one of the following types of assets:
  • Attractions – visitors need things to do and see  - For STAPP this includes activities and natural attractions 

  • Access – visitors need to be able to get to where they want to visit safely. For STAPP the tourism asset covers the means of access (note assets eligible under Ministry of Transport funding are not eligible for STAPP)

  • Amenities – services and facilities.

Intangible assets (for example intellectual property) can be considered eligible if they fit into the three asset categories

Is the asset a tourism asset of strategic significance (national or regional, cultural, environmental and/or historic)?


An asset is likely to be considered strategic and eligible for the STAPP if it:
  • Is a nationally and/or internationally recognised, and

  • Is a key attraction for New Zealand or a region of New Zealand, and

  • Is responsible for significant visitation to the region where it is located and in its absence, visitation to the region would be significantly diminished, and

  • Generates significant spill over benefits to the region where it is located.  Spill over benefits to the community (regional or New Zealand) means that the benefits of the tourism asset are shared with other businesses (including non-tourism businesses).

Has the applicant exhausted all other avenues of support (government broad-based and private)? 

Note: businesses with applications to Government funds (e.g. the Provincial Growth Fund) are eligible, but the STAPP will not provide support for the same purpose.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate that there is both a need for support to safeguard the asset and they have exhausted alternative options for support.
  • Are there insurmountable costs/challenges to pausing and resuming operations?

  • Is the applicant reliant to a high degree on revenue from visitor flows that are currently severely reduced?

  • Is the applicant facing severe financial stress, for example unable to meet the minimum costs necessary to survive/hibernate until demand recovers and/or re-pivot their offering to the domestic market? E.g. have other sources of cash flow, working capital been exhausted?

The following tourism assets are not eligible for STAPP:

  • assets that do not meet all three eligibility criteria
  • assets that can be readily repurposed
  • assets that are eligible for support via other sector-specific COVID-19 recovery packages (such
  • as the transport and aviation support package).
  • assets which are new capital developments or upgrades
  • assets which are a generic features of the tourism system, such as food and beverage,
  • accommodation, transport and retail.  Exceptions could include assets that are iconic, of
  • notable cultural, environmental and/or heritage status, and/or feature prominently within the
  • conservation landscape, and/or are uniquely critical elements of the tourism supply chain.

Due to the significant number of applications eligibility across this criteria did not guarantee full support.

Eligibility for Regional Tourism Organisations

STAPP funding was available for the 2020/2021 financial year for Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) who as of 1 June 2020 were official members of Regional Tourism New Zealand RTNZ (Incorporated Society). These RTOs also have to demonstrate a commitment to:

  1. Advance the goals of the New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy and create a more productive, sustainable and inclusive tourism sector;
  2. Retain RTO investment from Local Government e.g. Government funding is not a substitution for local government funding;
  3. Domestic marketing activity that complements Tourism New Zealand’s domestic marketing; and
  4. Adopting a destination management approach in line with MBIE’s Destination Management Guidelines which includes working with industry, communities and stakeholders to plan for the future, supporting industry capability and product development opportunities.

Decision making

A full assessment of all eligible applications was carried out and final decisions were made by the former Tourism Recovery Minister group.

Last updated: 27 August 2020