The announcement was met with cheers and appleause from many of the 700 attendees at the conference.
General Travel’s Anna Black, chair of Tourism Export Council NZ (TEC), says the announcement will allow ITOs to rebuild international tourism in conjunction with the government and communities. She says it will allow the sector to rebuild and maintain teams.
Scott Mehrtens, Leisure Time Travel, says the announcement gives inbound operators parity with colleagues in the sector. ‘Until now we haven’t received any grants from Government, only loans,’ say Mehrtens.
‘A lot of us have been reluctant to take hefty loans because we were afraid it would put a millstone around our necks.’
Nash also announced a $49 million kick-start fund so businesses that have gone into hibernation or suspended operations can receive grants to help reopen and resume trading once international
Overall, the $200 million Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan between now and 2023 will invest in new programmes like small business support, tourism infrastructure, the conservation estate, Māori development, economic and regional development, and mental wellbeing support.
‘There are 12 key points in the Tourism Communities Plan. Half are focused on the most vulnerable South Island regions: Fiordland, South Westland, Queenstown Lakes, Mackenzie District and Kaikōura. The remaining six are nationwide initiatives.’
(See page 5 and 6 for more coverage from TRENZ)