The funding will be drawn from the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy, paid by most tourists and some other short term visitors to New Zealand. A national destination management team will be established to work with visitor economy stakeholders in each region to development their plans. The government has already invested $11.5 million through COVID recovery funding to help regions get started.
The national approach seeks to highlight what makes each region unique while also providing cohesion across the country in terms of destination management.
“Through destination planning, regions aim to develop a well-managed, sustainable visitor destination that can adapt and change, depending on the region’s needs or opportunities from a social, economic, cultural and environmental point of view,” said New Zealand’s tourism minister, Peeni Henare.
“We want people visiting our regions, having a great experience and spending money, which helps local economies and creates jobs. But we also want to look after our natural environment and minimise the impact visitors have.
“The additional funding from the international visitor levy will put a team in place that is responsible for progressing destination management activity nationally, working closely with tourism organisations and business, government, and communities across Aotearoa to improve the visitor experience.
“The team will bring a national perspective to regional tourism issues, identifying and progressing actions that will bring the greatest collective benefit, and helping to coordinate regional activity on national tourism priorities such as the Industry Transformation Plans,” he said.