The Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan targets 5 New Zealand communities and the national tourism system.
Kaikoura, Mackenzie District, Queenstown Lakes, Fiordland, and South Westland were identified as those with the highest dependence on international tourism and thus experiencing significant downturn across their key industries.
The Tourism Communities plan also provides support for national tourism.
The tourism sector is a large portion of the nation's economy and benefits many New Zealand communities. However, even prior to covid, many knew of the unsustainable state of the industry. Unsustainable due to its effect on crowding, noise, waste, climate change, infrastructure usage, and the natural environment.
As New Zealand recovers from Covid, and before the influx of international tourists, this is a rare opportunity to change tourism to a more sustainable and regenerative model.
At TRENZ Hui 2021, Hon. Stuart Nash announced the $200m Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan. This plan will invest in new programmes like:
- Psycho-social support and wellbeing services
- Small business support
- Tourism infrastructure
- The conservation estate
- Maori development
- Economic and regional development.
There are 12 key points to the plan, with six focusing on the most vulnerable communities and the other six as nationwide initiatives.
He said the remodelling of the tourism sector will act as a catalyst for New Zealand's goal of a sustainable and resilient visitor economy that benefits all of New Zealand and its communities.
Nash also spoke in Queenstown in March, outlining his four priorities for the tourism sector. These include:
- Elevating 'Brand New Zealand' so the country is seen as one of the top three aspirational global travel destinations
- Re-setting and rebuilding tourism on a sustainable and regenerative model
- Ensuring costs and negative impacts associated with tourism are mitigated or priced into the visitor experience
- The government partnering with the industry
Countries around the world are seeing similar initiatives announced, with the hospitality sector in the UK supporting the government’s tourism recovery plan. Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality said she is delighted by the government’s recognition of hospitality and tourism’s roles, as the people and businesses are crucial to the country’s recovery.