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Councils to benefit from new tourism infrastructure funding

Councils to benefit from new tourism infrastructure funding
December 15, 2017

The New Zealand Government’s announcement of a $14.9 million investment in tourism infrastructure will help regions benefit from the growth in tourism, according to Tourism Industry Aotearoa.

$14.2 million of the spending comes from the $25 million a year Tourism Infrastructure Fund, while $700,000 is going towards cycle trail maintenance.

The $14.2 million has been awarded to various councils for 30 visitor-related infrastructure projects and four feasibility studies, providing co-funding for new carparks, toilets and wastewater upgrades.

TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says the funding will help communities provide enhanced experiences for both New Zealand and international visitors, commenting “TIA is strongly encouraging councils to put in applications to the next funding round. Councils should take advantage of the opportunity to secure investment into good projects that will support the growth of tourism.”

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) says the first round of the Tourism Infrastructure Fund will help some councils meet the infrastructure challenges posed by booming tourism numbers.

LGNZ President Dave Cull stated “as Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis says, increasing tourist numbers are putting pressure on infrastructure in many areas around the country, especially for those communities with small ratepayer bases.”

Cull added that while this additional funding is welcome, LGNZ continues to advocate for a long-term, sustainable funding mechanism which lets visitors contribute to the infrastructure they use when they are here.

Tourism brings many benefits for much of New Zealand but its continued growth also brings a range of challenges, not least of which is paying for the infrastructure used by visitors but funded by local communities.

During the election the Labour party campaigned on charging international visitors a $25 per trip levy and Minister Davis has now asked officials to prepare advice on implementing a levy.

Cull says more sustainable funding such as a visitor levy or share of GST is essential to help support the tourism industry and councils and communities meet the infrastructure needs that come with an influx of people.

He explained “a sustainable funding source that is fairly raised and allocated and applied to capital and operational expenditure, and maintenance, of tourism infrastructure is vital.

“Whatever its form, either a levy or portion of GST, we are now urging the government to partner with local government on details around how a new, sustainable funding mechanism will work, and variations of this for places like Queenstown where the need is different.”

Another $10.7 million is expected to be available in a second funding round in early 2018.

Images: The Otago Central Rail Trail (top) and New Zealand Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis (below).

14th December 2017 - TOURISM MAKES MAJOR CONTRIBUTION TO NEW ZEALAND ECONOMY

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13th June 2017 - NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT COMMITS $5.2 MILLION FOR 28 NEW TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS 

12th May 2017 - DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION TO RAISE CHARGES FOR OVERSEAS VISITORS WALKING NEW ZEALAND’S TRAILS 

11th May 2017 - NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES $100 MILLION TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE FUND 

10th May 2017 - ACTIONS TO SUPERCHARGE FUTURE SUCCESS OF NEW ZEALAND TOURISM 

31st January 2017 - TOURISM INDUSTRY AIMS TO MAINTAIN RECORD GROWTH

12th May 2016 - NEW ZEALAND TOURISM SET TO EXCEED 2025 GROWTH GOAL

10th December 2015 - CHALLENGES STILL FACE NEW ZEALAND TOURISM AS GROWTH TREND CONTINUES 


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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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