Budget 2020 - $400 million tourism recovery fund established

May 14, 2020

From today's Budget:

A $400 million targeted Tourism Recovery Fund, alongside the extension of the Wage Subsidy Scheme and a domestic tourism campaign, assist the industry to recover and restart, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today.

“This targeted package will go over and above the Government’s broad-based support of businesses and workers, and reflects the importance of tourism to Aotearoa, our economy and our people,” Kelvin Davis said.

“When forming this response package, my colleagues and I carefully considered feedback from industry. Initial, wide-ranging consultation identified a strong desire for a deep look at the future of tourism, but also significant short-term pressures because of COVID-19.

“There were strong calls for further support for staff costs, the extension to the Wage Subsidy Scheme announced today will also help businesses cover staffing costs and protect jobs, while we ramp up a domestic tourism campaign.

“Throughout our response to COVID-19 we have had to be nimble and flexible. The establishment of the $400 million Tourism Recovery Fund enables us to deliver various support mechanisms to the industry under one umbrella.

“This will fund a domestic tourism campaign. Tourism New Zealand has this week begun work to showcase New Zealand on social media promoting safe travel to New Zealanders. Further domestic activity will roll out soon, including a nationwide campaign.

“This package is designed to help the tourism sector at this point of our journey together. As we move through our recovery we will look at what further support we may need to provide in the days to come.

“Just as we all worked together to fight COVID-19, we will now work together to rebuild a sustainable tourism industry that we can all benefit from,” Kelvin Davis said.

The response package includes:


  • Tourism Transitions Programme

This programme will deliver advice and support for either pivoting a business towards the domestic and Australian market, hibernating a firm, or other options.

Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) will provide customer insight and views of overseas market conditions to help businesses make good decisions about their futures. NZ Māori Tourism will also be supported through this fund to deliver the Transitions Programme directly to its stakeholders.


  • Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme

Some of our key tourism assets, in the form of attractions and amenities, play a vital part in our domestic tourism offering and our international brand as a tourist destination. Some of these are at risk due to the effects of COVID-19 and if lost, could slow down either the national or regional recoveries, and have a major impact on some communities. This fund will identify those strategic assets and provide them with the protection and assistance they need so they will not be lost.


  • Tourism Recovery Ministers Group

This will be established to oversee the Tourism Recovery Package, and the tourism industry’s recovery. Members are expected to include Ministers of Tourism, Finance, Māori Development, Conservation, and the Under Secretary of Regional Economic Development. 


  • New Zealand Futures Tourism Taskforce

This public-private taskforce will lead the thinking on the future of tourism in New Zealand. It will consist of cross-government and tourism sector representatives and will prioritise the current and future issues that will shape and impact tourism, and lead recommendations on further policy and regulatory reform in the sector.


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