Northland Missed Tourism Assistance Program, Despite Social Development Advice Should Receive It

He said tourism businesses in the region need to catch up with other parts of the country before international tourism returns.

“Regional civil servants are worried about the aggravating impact that the loss of tourism income and jobs has on deprivation. “

But the government has chosen to focus only on the regions of the South Island.

At the time, Tourism Minister Stuart Nash announced “12 key points” for the Tourism Communities Plan.

“Half are focused on the most vulnerable regions of the South Island: Fiordland, South Westland, Queenstown Lakes, Mackenzie District and Kaikōura. The other six are national initiatives. “

Support for these five areas includes support and training in psychological and social well-being, grants for expert advice on planning and decision-making, and a $ 49 million start-up fund for the reopening. companies suspended for the return of international visitors.

Nash told RNZ today the Cabinet used “strict” funding criteria.

International visitors were expected to account for over 50% of tourism spending before Covid-19, and tourism was to account for more than 10% of overall spending in the region, so Te Tai Tokerau did not hit the threshold, Nash said.

The region had benefited more domestic travelers during the pandemic than other parts of the country, but he acknowledged that the Auckland lockdown had a “significant impact” in the second half of last year, he said. declared.

“I was very comfortable with the money we had invested in Northland in specific tourism projects, as well as with the support for Northland tourism businesses. Now, that was before the Auckland lockdown, I have to say, and I just repeat that when we locked down Auckland due to the Delta outbreak over there which had a significant impact on Northland. ”

The region had benefited from other tourism allocations from the Provincial Growth Fund and the previous $ 400 million tourism stimulus plan in 2020, he said.

RNZ

Joel C. Hicks