15 Sep 2020

Tourism recovery funding missed the mark - operator

From Checkpoint, 6:08 pm on 15 September 2020

A South Island business operator who missed out on a government tourism grant believes the scheme has totally missed the mark and could land the government in court.

About 80 businesses have got more than $40 million in funding and or loans as part of the government's Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme - including AJ Hackett Bungy, Discover Waitomo, Rotorua Zorb and Wellington Zoo to name just a few.

As part of the qualifying criteria businesses had to be a key attraction, nationally or internationally recognised, and generate significant spillover benefits for the region.

Two dozen South Island tourism operators are questioning the way the money was carved-up and want a please explain from the Minister before they decide whether to take the matter to court.

Abbe Hutchins is chief executive of Marlbourough Tour Company. She made an application for funding and was turned down.

She tells Lisa Owen the process could have been fairer and simpler and she thinks they got it wrong.