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17 August 21: Tourism recovery and reset funding welcomed

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism has welcomed the Government’s announcement of $26M for regional tourism organisations from the Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Reset Plan.

Minister of Tourism, Hon Stuart Nash, made the announcement today (subs: 17 August 2021) while visiting the Waikato.

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism chief executive Jason Dawson says that the one-off funding from the Government of up to $1M for his organisation will give a significant boost to deliver on the aspirations of the region’s draft destination management plan which was a key requirement of STAPP (Strategies Tourism Asset Protection Programme) funding received last year.

“Covid-19 has dealt a significant blow to Waikato’s visitor sector, including tourism operators, accommodation, hospitality, transport, events and venues. While most of the region has rebounded well, we still see communities such as Waitomo Village and Matamata suffering from the impact of the loss of international visitors” he added.

“The sector has used this time to reset the visitor offering, introduce a regenerative tourism framework and ensuring community aspirations are at the heart of the future rebuild” he added.

“The draft Destination Management Plan for Waikato is still under development and will be released shortly for wider community, industry, local government and iwi engagement” he says.

“We want to ensure we co-curate a vibrant sector which not only gives back to the communities they serve, but also creates more active and immersive experiences which contribute to the four well-beings – culturally, environmentally, economically and socially” says Dawson.

“We are very fortunate that our local government funding partners continue to see the value in regional tourism as an economic and social enabler for their communities by continuing to invest in our organisation and the sector through initiatives such as infrastructure development.”

“From its baseline local government and industry funding, the additional Government investment will accelerate the implementation and delivery of the region’s destination management plan” he said.

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism will be working with regional partners and operators to continue some of the key rebuild projects from 2020 including enhancing industry capability, accelerating regenerative tourism and developing new product anchored in its regional strengths such as food and sport tourism.