Media Statement - New regional tourism funding available

Electorate news
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Taupo’s tourism industry could benefit from Government funding that boosts regional tourism businesses and infrastructure, says local MP Louise Upston.

“$4 million from the Tourism Growth Partnership (TGP) has been set aside for regional tourism projects and the Government’s annual $3 million Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund is now open for applications,” says Ms Upston.

“Tourism is booming in Taupo as people from around the world and New Zealand flock here to try their luck at the Hole in One; Bungy Jump off New Zealand's Highest Water cantilever platform above the Waikato River; face their fears and jump out of a plane; or fish for trout in the Great Lake Taupo.  Last year there were almost 900 thousand international guest nights and over $540 million spent by visitors in Taupo.

“Tourism is vital to our economy here in Taupo. It creates and keeps local jobs here, and provides endless opportunities for local businesses. It’s vital we ensure growing visitor numbers are managed sustainably and that our region has the capacity to continue reaping the benefits of tourism. This funding is an important part of supporting this,” Ms Upston said.

I recently attended the Tourism Export Council Awards held at Wairakei Resort. It was wonderful to see so many talented people being recognised for their contribution to the tourism industry including Holly Bowen from Taupo Tandem Skydive who received the Young TEC Excellence Award.

The Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund helps manage the growing demand from tourists by providing communities with new or enhanced smaller infrastructure such as carparks and restrooms.

The TGP is a joint-funding partnership between the Government and the private sector to increase the value of existing tourism projects or to get new projects underway.

“Together, these programmes help regional tourist centres maximise their tourism potential, so I urge communities and tourist operators throughout Taupo to find out more information.

“It’s great to see the Government continuing to support tourism here in Taupo and throughout New Zealand. Since 2008, we have invested an unprecedented $700 million in tourism and tourism promotion.

“This is helping fuel rapid growth in the sector. A record 3.34 million visitors came to New Zealand in the year ending July 2016, and spent an all-time high of $10.3 billion,” says Mrs Upston.

For more information about applying for the Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund, visit: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/tourism/regional-mid-sized-tourism-facilities-grant-fund.

For more information about the TGP, visit http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/tourism/tourism-growth-partnership.

Media contact: Jess van Haarlem Ph: 021 809 393
 
Authorised by Louise Upston, 67 Paora Hapi Street, Taupo