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MBIE: Budget 2017: Tourism infrastructure gets a boost

Direct News Source

11-May-2017 A new $100 million Tourism Infrastructure Fund was launched today as part of a tourism-focused pre-Budget announcement.

The Tourism Infrastructure Fund will provide up to $25 million per year in co-funding for development of tourism-related infrastructure such as carparks, freedom camping facilities and sewerage and water works.

After a period of exceptional growth in the tourism sector, infrastructure is a priority for the industry and central and local government. The fund will support local communities facing pressure from tourism growth and in need of assistance – areas with high visitor numbers but small ratepayer bases, for example.

The fund is made up of $60.5 million in new money and $41.5 million reprioritised from the Tourism Growth Partnership and the Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund, both of which have now closed. The additional $500,000 per year is required to run the fund.

Also announced today as part of the tourism infrastructure package is a $76 million funding increase for the Department of Conservation to upgrade and develop tourist facilities on conservation land and to expand the great walks network.

In addition, the Government is also looking at ways to place an increased emphasis on tourism in the 2018 Government Policy Statement on land transport. This would signal greater priority to tourism-related investments when the New Zealand Transport Agency makes its investment decisions and will help to ensure that the roads our visitors use are fit for purpose and enable people to safely and efficiently travel around the country.

New Zealand already offers an excellent travel experience. This funding package will support the sector to expand that capacity and respond to the needs of all visitors, now and into the future.