Ex­tra tourism fund­ing for re­gion wel­comed

Waikato News - - News -

Taranaki/King Coun­try MP Bar­bara Kuriger has wel­comed the op­por­tu­nity for ex­tra fund­ing for tourism in­fra­struc­ture in our re­gion.

“Tourism is now a $14.5 bil­lion ex­port earner for New Zealand, with 188,000 peo­ple work­ing in the in­dus­try. These vis­i­tors are in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant to our econ­omy, par­tic­u­larly in the re­gions,” says Mrs Kuriger.

“We need to pro­vide core fa­cil­i­ties to sup­port this tourism growth and con­tinue to at­tract high­value vis­i­tors. Such fa­cil­i­ties ben­e­fit lo­cal res­i­dents and do­mes­tic tourists, as well as our in­ter­na­tional guests.

“In the last round of fund­ing for the Re­gional Mid-sized Tourism Fa­cil­i­ties Grant Fund, a to­tal of $3 mil­lion was al­lo­cated to the best 14 projects. This saw the de­vel­op­ment of im­por­tant ameni­ties such as carparks, rub­bish dis­posal and mi­nor wa­ter man­age­ment projects.

“Our lo­cal Maun­gatau­tari Eco­log­i­cal Island Trust was the re­cip­i­ent of $117,000 from the Re­gional Mid-sized Tourism Fa­cil­i­ties Grant Fund in 2016 to con­struct five com­post­ing toi­lets and en­hance the vis­i­tor en­trance to MEIT,” says Mrs Kuriger.

“These fa­cil­i­ties will en­able the Sanc­tu­ary Moun­tain Maun­gatau­tari vis­i­tor cen­tre to cope with in­creas­ing num­bers of vis­i­tors and cater to vis­i­tors ar­riv­ing out­side the vis­i­tor cen­tre’s hours, and the com­post­ing toi­lets will meet grow­ing vis­i­tor de­mand at the site.

“Due to the ini­tial suc­cess of this scheme, an ad­di­tional $5.5 mil­lion has been made avail­able for fur­ther tourism in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ments. This next round of fund­ing could be an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity to de­velop or im­prove tourism in­fra­struc­ture in the Taranaki and King Coun­try re­gions.”

Bud­get 2016 has al­lo­cated $12 mil­lion over four years for the Re­gional Mid-sized Tourism Fa­cil­i­ties Grant Fund.

Ap­pli­ca­tions for the sec­ond round of fund­ing close at 4pm on Thurs­day, April 13.

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