New business support for tourism operators in five South Island regions can be accessed from this week, with specialist local agencies now appointed to deliver the scheme.
Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has announced details of how businesses can apply for help under two initiatives from the $200 million Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan announced in May.
“Agreements have now been put in place with the agencies who will lead the business support programme in Fiordland/Southland District, and Queenstown Lakes, Mackenzie, Westland and Kaikoura Districts,” Stuart Nash said.
“The first initiative will provide professional one-to-one support and tailored advice to help businesses adjust to the impact of COVID19. The second initiative offers further grants to help put that advice and planning into action, to suit their own circumstances.
“We are in a strong position to continue backing jobs and businesses to provide certainty in challenging times. As always, the best economic response is a strong health response.
“With the change to alert levels for the South Island from tomorrow, business owners and operators are also now able to access their premises to prepare for contactless opening, including public health requirements.
“Prior to the community outbreak of the New South Wales Delta variant, domestic tourism was experiencing a boom as more Kiwis got out into their own backyard during the “do something new, New Zealand” campaign promoted by Tourism NZ.
“Higher Alert Levels are a reminder that this sector of our economy remains vulnerable to the impacts of the global pandemic, especially remote South Island regions that relied more heavily on foreign tourists than other areas.
“The $20 million tourism business support scheme offers grants up to $5,000 per business for expert advice on planning in response to COVID-19. A further grant of up to $5,000 is then available to help implement the plans and advice.
“The specialist local agencies contracted to deliver this support will draw on their own expertise, networks and in-depth knowledge of regional economies to get the best for each business. They are as follows:
Development West Coast for businesses in Westland District,
Great South for businesses in Southland (Fiordland) District,
ChristchurchNZ for Kaikoura and Mackenzie District businesses, and
Queenstown Lakes District Council for businesses in Wanaka, Queenstown and surrounding areas.
“These agencies will be the lead entities for the business package. They have moved at pace, setting up systems and bringing people on board who will manage the initiatives at a local level.
“Each lead entity has a team of growth advisors who know their communities, and have the advice, skills and expertise to help local businesses through the application process. The growth advisors will be the central point of contact for businesses.
“The Tourism Communities Plan is a two-year programme of both short term support, and longer-term transformation of the wider tourism sector. Work continues on other parts of the twelve-point plan, and further updates will be announced as decisions are made,” Mr Nash said.
Details of eligibility criteria, and contact details for lead entities are on the tourism recovery section of the MBIE website
Note to Editors:
The longer-term approach for a phased re-opening of the international border was announced by the Prime Minister on 12 August. It followed the publication of Sir David Skegg’s COVID-19 advice to Government
The framework for a phased re-opening is centred on the COVID19 elimination strategy and a phased resumption of quarantine-free travel. It involves vaccinating as many people as possible and safely conducting a self-isolation trial for vaccinated New Zealanders.
Once enough people are vaccinated, a phased return of travellers to our shores in 2022 would be based on an individual risk-based approach to border settings. In the meantime, the Government is providing support to tourism businesses where it is most needed.