Tourism Infrastructure Fund

Columns
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Tourists love New Zealand because we have a lot to offer across the country; we’re lucky to experience it every day.

Last week a major funding boost of $178 million was announced to help improve tourism facilities and the travelling experience throughout New Zealand.

As part of this, a $102 million Tourism Infrastructure Fund will support smaller councils improve services like toilets, carparks, freedom camping facilities and rubbish disposal systems.

Our country’s tourism industry is built on beauty, and that’s why it’s important our Department of Conservation (DOC) areas are supported with an extra $76 million. These areas host a vast majority of the 3.5 million visitors to New Zealand each year.

A good example is the 3000km Te Araroa Walkway from Bluff to Cape Reinga which passes through the Tararuas. The ongoing support from volunteers and DOC is required to maintain the track and huts due to harsh weather conditions.

New Zealand’s reputation as a great place for a walk is already well known but the search will soon be on for two new Great Walks.

$12.7 million will go towards this expansion, which will feature a contestable process to select the best locations for these new walks. A network of Great Short Walks and Great Day Walks will add to the experience for those tourists who might not have time for the multi-day walks.

The British and Irish Lions tour is fast approaching and over 22,000 guests are expected to arrive in the country. The Government has invested $3 million through the Major Events Development Fund towards the June tour and big spending is expected from tourists while they’re here.

Two Lions games will be played in Wellington and plenty of visitors can be expected to stay in and visit our area, especially those in campervans. I’m looking forward to seeing these visitors in our patch over the next couple of months.