16 Jul 2021

Government reveals Tourism Infrastructure Fund decisions

11:49 am on 16 July 2021

More than $18 million has been earmarked to boost tourism infrastructure, with extra attention for the hardest-hit South Island regions.

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Photo: Dom Thomas

Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has announced details of the 57 projects to receive support from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund.

Those hardest hit from the loss of international visitors would receive more than half the funding, he said.

The areas include Fiordland, South Westland, Queenstown Lakes, Mackenzie District and Kaikōura.

"The five South Island areas were heavily reliant on international tourism. Domestic tourism is experiencing a boom as Kiwi travellers embrace the call to 'do something new' but these South Island regions are still doing it tough, he said.

"Government funding for these projects will provide much-needed local employment while borders are tightly controlled to keep us safe from Covid-19. The new tourism facilities will also help local councils prepare for the return of visitors in greater numbers."

The five regions will share $10m from the total pool in this funding round with the projects sharing a common theme of enhancing popular lakefront and beachfront facilities to improve the visitor experience.

The projects include to improve facilities for boaties, pedestrians, cyclists and tourism operators on the lakefront in Queenstown, Wānaka, Glenorchy, Te Anau and Manapouri.

The Te Anau wastewater project will also receive further funding as will tourism projects on Stewart Island/Rakiura.

Funding has also been earmarked to upgrade carpark and toilet facilities at Lake Pukaki and Lake Ruataniwha with more also going towards camping facilities in Fairlie.

The remote Jackson Bay south of Haast will have a new boat trailer areas and visitor parking, and the visitor carpark next to the Franz Josef heliport and township will be upgraded.

Nearly $2m will be used to upgrade the paths from the Esplanade to Point Kean and Kaikōura Lookout with more going to sealing the carpark at the lookout.

"In the past few months I have travelled to all five of these regions and spoken to mayors and other leaders about what is needed to help the communities adjust. This tourism fund is just one of a number of initiatives designed to keep up the momentum of recovery, and we remain focussed on supporting local jobs and businesses in future decisions," Nash said.

The other projects across the nation include wifi-connected smart bins along Paihia and Russell waterfronts, to a new toilet block at Tokomaru Bay Wharf, a new cycle hub in Alexandra, and the development of the Hokitika beachfront.

"The Tourism Infrastructure Fund supports local communities under pressure from tourism, especially those with small ratepayer bases. This year it is funding a great range of new and upgraded facilities, which will make a difference to locals, Kiwis exploring their backyard, and international travellers when our borders open further."

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