The New Zealand Government will allocate NZ$50 million to nine major regional groups across the country via the Regional Events Fund in a drive to support the wider tourism and events industry.
“It is good to see the sector has been recognised as an important driver of the domestic visitor industry, and business events have been acknowledged as a high-value contributor to regional visitation,” said Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) chief executive Lisa Hopkins
“This longer-term investment in events will support the rebuilding of the visitor economy and provide valuable assistance for the people who work within it.
“The fund will be a major boost for existing events, as well as the chance to develop new ones, building capability across the country. It gives the industry some funding opportunity across the next two to four years and will be especially helpful for 2021 and beyond.”
The Regional Events Fund comes as a welcome addition to the government’s recently announced Domestic Events Fund, in which 20 of the 200 events receiving support were conferences and business events.
“CINZ will be encouraging the regional tourism organisations to ensure business events have a fair share of the fund and offer support to the New Zealand Convention Bureaux as they work through the process,” Hopkins said.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff also welcomed the news in the face of the continuing closure of the nation’s international border.
“This new funding from the government will make a real difference for the sector, boost economic recovery, and help to bring back some of the vibrancy and excitement we’ve all missed over the last six months due to the necessary virus restrictions,” Goff said.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) chief executive Nick Hill said it was “fantastic news”.
“We continue to work on a range of joint projects, including the delivery of Rugby World Cup 2021 as well as domestic marketing and international students’ activities,” Hill said.
“Auckland’s 2020 events portfolio was estimated to generate nearly $38million for the region’s economy but to date, we estimate to lose $23-million as a result of cancelled events. Today’s news provides a massive boost for a sector that has demonstrated real resilience and agility during this time.”