Tourism Accelerator


The closure of New Zealand’s borders and ongoing domestic business restrictions due to Covid-19 are posing an enormous challenge to the tourism industry.

Struggling tourism operators need immediate relief to stay afloat and to ensure the industry can rebuild.

National’s Tourism Accelerator is a $100 million package of direct grants for tourism projects aimed at increasing demand for tourism.

It will provide an incentive for tourism businesses to invest in the sector, to facilitate opportunities by funding innovative ideas, and to encourage new options for tourism markets.

There is no maximum or minimum amount of funding that can be applied for. All tourism operators are encouraged to submit proposals.

The $100 million would be allocated over a four-year period.

Tourism operators will be eligible to apply for up to 70 per cent of the funding for projects they propose that meet the criteria of increasing demand within the tourism sector. The minimum co-investment expected from the private sector would be 30 per cent.

Viable projects must aim to increase demand for tourism in the region where the project is based, and is assessed to be likely to provide commercial returns.

The grants are not aimed at covering current operational costs, rather they will fund any new component of a tourism enterprise aimed at driving increased or new demand for tourism, including developing new or amended tourism offerings or marketing to new demographics or geographies.

The grants will be managed by an independent board appointed by the Minister of Tourism. The Minister can issue priority statements to provide guidance on the assessment of the broad criteria of the fund.

Covid-19 has posed a direct challenge to the industry and National’s Tourism Accelerator is one tool we can use to help the industry rebuild and bounce back.

You can read our policy Factsheet and Q&A here