The 3 business initiatives

Targeted Tourism support was available to the 5 South Island communities most impacted by the loss of international visitors.

About the initiatives

As part of the 2021 Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-Set Plan, funding was allocated to the 5 communities most impacted by the loss of international visitors: Queenstown Lakes, Southland, Kaikōura, Mackenzie and Westland Districts.

3 of the targeted initiatives provided direct support to tourism businesses in these communities.

The 3 business initiatives are:

  • $10 million Business Advisory Support to enable businesses to receive expert advice and support, such as on changing target markets, or scaling their business (up to $5,000 per business).
  • $10 million in grants for businesses to implement business advice received (up to $5,000 per business).
  • $49 million Tourism Kick-start Fund to help existing tourism businesses (that engaged in hibernation-like activities) scale up in preparation for the return of international visitors ($10,000-$50,000 per business).

Applications to each of these initiatives closed on 31 August 2022.

How were the 5 communities chosen?

When designing the Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan, the Government used the following criteria to assess which areas were most affected by the loss of international tourism and could therefore receive targeted support:

  1. That more than 10% of the region’s expenditure was on tourism in 2019
  2. That more than 50% of tourism spending in the district in 2019 was by international visitors (rather than domestic visitors)
  3. That consumer spending in the district, across all industries, had decreased by more than 10% for the year January 2020-2021.

The first 2 criteria helped to understand how reliant on international tourism these communities were prior to COVID-19. The third criterion demonstrates how the loss of international tourism has impacted not only the industry itself, but also the broader economies in these communities.

Organisations delivering the 3 business initiatives

The Business Advisory Support initiative was provided through the Regional Business Partner (RBP) Network, as this existing network was already capable of providing advice and connecting businesses to external support. The remaining Business Advice Implementation and Tourism Kick-start Fund initiatives were delivered by Lead Entities, who have local knowledge and expertise in their communities.

The Lead Entities are:

  • Christchurch NZ (for Kaikōura and Mackenzie Districts)
  • Great South (for Southland District)
  • Queenstown Lakes District Council / Business Sounth Inc. (for Queenstown Lakes District)
  • Development West Coast (for Westland District).

Funding approved

An overview of funding approved through each initiative will be provided once the figures are finalised.

Last updated: 19 September 2022