Grant Robertson presenting the new budget
Minister of Finance Grant Robertson presented Budget 2018 to parliament today.

The Labour government has unveiled its new Budget 2018, which includes cutting investments to Tourism New Zealand. Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) is displeased with the budget.

“We are disappointed that today’s Budget has reduced Tourism New Zealand’s budget by almost $6 million,” TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts said.

“International travellers have an enormous range of destination choices, and we must be able to maintain and build our presence in our key markets.”

The most significant cuts to Tourism New Zealand’s funding come from the marketing and promotional budget.

“Reducing your marketing spend when it has proved successful is bad business. Destination marketing influences travel decisions next year, the year after and the years after that. Even this small cut could hurt New Zealand’s efforts to retain its share of global tourism,”

Roberts was happy however to note a small funding increase to support TNZ in providing visitor information and with industry engagement. TIA is also grateful, the Department of Conservation is receiving more funding, as New Zealand’s clean, natural environment is one of the main reasons tourists visit the country.

“While we are delighted to see the increased funding for DOC’s core conservation roles, it is only getting $1 million next year for better visitor management at some of the most popular spots. That’s not going to achieve much.” Mr Roberts said.

The Labour-led government’s new Budget was restrained, with the biggest investment increases coming to the health, education and housing sectors.