$11 million tourism package to benefit Māori tourism operators

By Jessica Tyson

Māori tourism operators are expected to benefit from new funding of $11 million to alleviate the impact of Coronavirus on the tourism industry.

The temporary border controls in place to protect Aotearoa from the virus mean that our nations' second largest tourism market, namely China is effectively cut off from coming to our shores.

On Monday Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the government will invest an initial $11 mil into a tourism package to support the industry.

“It will include $10m for Tourism New Zealand to diversify its marketing in other countries to offset the fall in Chinese traffic and diversify the visitor portfolio and stimulate the economy,” she says.

Another $1m will go towards funding the domestic marketing by regional tourism organisations in affected regions.

“This is a start, we have an expectation as well that the tourism sector will do further work to rebuild the Chinese visitor market and New Zealand’s hosting capability. So that is something we have asked Tourism New Zealand to do work on so that once we are in a position to do so, we will rebuild that sector within China as well.”

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Stephen England-Hall says China accounted for over 300,000 holiday visitors in the year ending November 2019.

He says the $10 mil in funding, along with $3 mil of their existing funds, will be used to encourage growth from other markets until China bounces back.

“Australia, as our largest short-haul market, will be a strong focus in the immediate future. We will look to partner with industry to help fund and coordinate a new campaign targeting the upcoming shoulder season.”

Other markets to be targeted include America, Japan, Europe and the United Kingdom.

“Our medium to long-term work will focus on building momentum in Japan following our successful Rugby World Cup activity, taking advantage of new airline routes and capacity in the US, and exploring options to build on positive market sentiment movements in the UK,” England-Hall says.