Regional Tourism New Zealand (RTNZ) Chair David Perks described the relief package as “far reaching and very welcome as every region looks to rebuild its tourism sector in a sustainable and resilient manner.
“Tourism in every region has suffered a huge economic blow because of COVID-19. RTOs are extremely well positioned to play an invaluable role to boost a sector rebound by marketing their respective regions, developing tourism experiences and providing support to businesses. This will translate into greater economic returns to their communities.
“The Government has recognised the important role played by RTO’s to help reignite the visitor economy, support efforts to quickly stimulate domestic demand, and deliver the goals of the New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy.”
Mr Perks said local government, who by and large are the owners and principal funders of RTOs, are under financial pressure as they grapple with the pandemic.
“We know councils recognise the importance of tourism to the vibrancy and economic vitality of their communities and they will be hugely appreciative of the Government support.”
Mr Perks also noted that RTNZ did not see this funding for its members as replacing traditional local government funding.
“It is a significant additional boost to RTO’s to sustain their organisations and, importantly, support their local industry so it can rebuild and recover from the impacts of the Covid-crisis.
“We thank the Minister and government for this timely investment which will support grassroots recovery from this immense impact of the pandemic felt across the whole of New Zealand.”