Tourism Minister Paula Bennett and Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges today announced that the Government will provide $160,000 to support tourism strategy projects in Canterbury.
The announcement was made as part of the refresh of the Canterbury Regional Economic Development Strategy.
“The region is also developing a visitor strategy that will help grow a sustainable tourism industry that ensures Canterbury becomes the gateway to the south,” Mrs Bennett says.
“The focus will be on the high-end visitor market, encouraging a longer seasonal spread of visitors who travel widely across the region.”
The regional visitor strategy includes a number of priority actions for the region, including supporting Kaikoura and Hurunui districts to recover and build visitor numbers following the November 2016 earthquakes.
The announcement is in addition to the approximately $2 million that has recently been awarded for tourism infrastructure projects in Canterbury through the Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund.
“Canterbury offers an exceptional travel experience for visitors and infrastructure is a priority for the tourism sector in the region to grow. The Grant funding of $2 million for Canterbury will help communities respond to tourism growth by creating new or enhanced facilities,” Mrs Bennett says.
“International and domestic visitors deliver significant economic benefits to New Zealand – tourism is our biggest export earner and visitors add billions of dollars to the economy,” Mr Bridges says.
“That’s why it is an important element of Canterbury’s regional economic plan. We have allocated $110,000 to help the region develop ‘the Canterbury story’ which will provide a toolkit of marketing assets that can be used to attract business, capital, skilled workers, students and visitors to the Canterbury region.
“A further $50,000 will support the region in working with KiwiRail on an independent assessment of the business case for reintroducing passenger services on the Christchurch-Invercargill rail corridor,” Mr Bridges says.