All regions and communities in Aotearoa face significant economic impacts from COVID-19; in particular those regions where international tourism is the dominant economic driver. A response at a regional level is needed and TIA supports central government funding support for New Zealand’s 31 Regional Tourism Organisations provided via the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme.
The development of Destination Management Plans should occur as a priority to manage regional tourism recovery. The voice and needs of tourism operators must be strongly represented in these Plans.
TIA has previously explored a wide range of options on how local government funding needs can best be addressed and supported an annual calculation equivalent to 20% of the GST collected from international visitors, distributed via a Trust to Local Government to fund local tourism needs. In light of COVID-19, no/low international visitor numbers, and increased pressure on local government funding, TIA will revisit these options to consider an appropriate regional funding model going forward.