New Zealand’s RTOs among the first to receive recovery financial support

New Zealand’s Regional Tourism Organisations (RTO) are among the first recipients of support from the NZ$400 million Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, to help position the sector for recovery from Covid-19.

The Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme will provide up to NZ$20.2 million for New Zealand’s 31 RTOs.

“We are working closely with the tourism industry to help cushion the blow from Covid-19, support businesses and workers, and position the tourism sector for recovery,” said Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis.

“The industry has been asking for this throughout my discussions with them. We’re investing in RTOs because they play an important role in supporting tourism. The restart, recovery and rebuilding of the sector will depend on capable and well-resourced regional organisations to lead and coordinate activities alongside the industry, stakeholders, Māori and communities.”

The programme will also deliver NZ$4 million to Discover Waitomo.

“Without this support, it may not have been possible to preserve this key asset, so it was important to act fast,” Davis said.

“This investment will help safeguard and enable Discover Waitomo to retain a highly skilled workforce with specific skills and experience.”

Davis said that where there is urgent need to fast track applications the Tourism Recovery Ministers will assess the urgency and make a decision.

“This has occurred with Discover Waitomo and other businesses we’re currently in discussions with,” he said.

“We don’t want bureaucracy to get in the way of supporting businesses that need it. That’s why we’re able to announce funding for Discover Waitomo today, and we will make further announcements soon.”

The news came as the Tourism Futures Taskforce announced it will be led by co-chairs Mayor Steve Chadwick and Grant Webster.

“Their leadership, skills and experience will be vital to ensuring we can rebuild a sector that’s more economically, environmentally and culturally sustainable, so that it delivers on its promises to Kiwis and visitors alike,” Davis said.