In September 2020, as a result of COVID-19 the New Zealand Government announced a $50 million Regional Events Fund. The purpose of the fund is to stimulate domestic tourism and travel between regions through hosting of events, which is intended to replace expenditure from international tourists. Please visit www.mbie.govt.nz for more background on the Regional Events Fund.
The Thermal Explorer Highway includes the Waikato, Rotorua, Taupō and Ruapehu regions. Our purpose for the Thermal Explorer Highway Regional Events Fund is a contestable fund that will be utilised to focus on developing, securing or enhancing new and existing events to become long term sustainable “iconic” or “anchor” events for the regions; and to support capability development of the event ecosystem in the regions of the Thermal Explorer area.
Expressions of Interest closed 5pm, Friday 12 March 2021 with the following highlights:
- We received 82 Expressions of Interest
- Total funding requested is over $16 million
- Estimated total event attendees around 827,000; estimated total out of region visitors around 434,000; or approximately 52% of total estimated event attendees from out of the region.
- Half of the applications are for NEW events
Important links and information
|Thermal Explorer Highway Regional Investment Plan
For more information including an overview of the Thermal Explorer Highway Regional Investment Plan
|Thermal Explorer Regional Events Fund – Funding Application Guidelines 2021|
Timeline and next steps
|5pm, Friday 12 March 2021||Expressions of Interest (EOI) close|
|By End-March 2021||Expression of Interest (EOI) applications shortlisted|
|12 – 14 April 2021||
Shortlisted applicants present to the Panel
|May 2021||Events contracted|
|From July 2021||Events commence|
|For more information||
Lead Entity for the Thermal Explorer Highway Regional Events Fund (REF):