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. TIA advocates that Central Government creates a Regional Tourism Fund of $300m p.a. and distributes these funds to Local Government to address local tourism-related needs, with the allocation determined by the measured level of visitor impact on each territorial local authority. Ways to determine regional visitor impact include visitor nights, visitor spend and visitor flows.
Local authorities’ investment in tourism is informed by regional spatial plans (where they exist), local authority Long-term Plans, and RTO/EDA Destination Management Plans. If these Plans are doing their job well, they should clearly articulate the aspirations of tourism in the region and funding required. One of our roles as TIA is to ensure there is a funding stream to support the required investment.