Key to give more than $1.5mil to tourism ventures

By Heeni Brown

Just one day out from the release of this year’s Budget for 2015 Prime Minister John Key has announced that the Government will be putting $350,000 towards the development of a new spa complex on Rotorua’s lakefront, and $1.5 million towards a new exhibition at Blenheim’s Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.

“Tourism is a significant part of our economy and a major employer,” says Mr Key.

“The $32 million contestable Tourism Growth Partnership fund aims to boost innovation and productivity in the tourism sector. For each project approved for investment, the Government provides up to 50 per cent of the required funding.”

Mr Key says government has now invested $8.1 million in 15 projects, in addition to the applicants’ contributions of $39.2 million, giving a total $47.3 million investment in the tourism industry.

“Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre has already established itself as a premier tourism attraction, featuring Sir Peter Jackson’s WWI aviation collection. The centre will be expanded to include a WWII hangar exhibition, which will also serve as a function centre capable of catering of up to 500 guests,” says Mr Key.

“The World Spa project aims to develop an international standard spa and wellness complex on Rotorua’s lakefront. The Rotorua District Council has set a goal of 1.5 million commercial spa visits yearly, and the development of this new spa complex will certainly help with achieving that goal,” says Mr Key.