Venture Taranaki welcomes Tourism Sector Recovery Plan and RTO funding

Venture Taranaki welcomes the announcement of Government funding and support by way of protection of some of New Zealand’s most significant tourism assets, and up to $22.2 million in funding for New Zealand’s Regional Tourism Operators (RTOs). This funding was announced yesterday by Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis, as part of the Government’s $400 million Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, to help position the sector for recovery from COVID-19.
“We’re pleased to see this detail now available on the previously announced $400 million to support the tourism industry, with this industry undoubtedly being severely impacted by COVID-19”, said Venture Taranaki CE, Justine Gilliland.
The details now announced include a safeguard to protect our most significant tourism assets, with Discover Waitomo being announced, for example, as being under the protection of the new Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme (STAPP). The Programme aims to work to support the survival of key national or regional tourism assets that generate significant visitation and spill-over benefits to the region where it’s located.
“It’s reassuring to know that this protective measure has been put in place, as Tourism generates approximately $15 billion annually for our national economy and $428 million into the local Taranaki economy, and although we have a huge variety of experiences here, there are certainly some significant attractions that generate a large amount of visitation,” explains Justine.
Since the lockdown and Alert Level 4, Venture Taranaki has been working with Taranaki enterprises, providing them with advice, funding and support. This has included local tourism providers and operators, and those who support or supply services to the industry.
“Over the past eight weeks, we’re been working closely with our local tourism operators, to ensure they have all the support they can get, and it’s great to see funding being made available to support  the work of RTOs like us work, to ensure we’re able to continue to support our regional tourism industry”, explains Justine


Local tourism assets that are deemed strategically significant to the ongoing success of regional tourism could be eligible for the funding, and Venture Taranaki will work closely with Taranaki’s visitor sector and enterprises, and the four Councils to identify any impacted assets for the programme.


The Tourism Sector Recovery Plan also includes a public-private taskforce that will continue the work started by Tourism New Zealand to reimagine the future of tourism and rebuild to a sector that’s more economically, environmentally and culturally sustainable, so that it delivers on its promises to Kiwis and visitors alike.

“I look forward to seeing what the Tourism Futures taskforce is able to achieve,” says Gilliland.


Applications for STAPP open 4 June, closing 5pm 18 June. More information and eligibility criteria can be found on the MBIE website or contact Venture Taranaki.