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The tourism industries of Taranaki and King Country could benefit from Government funding that boosts regional tourism businesses and infrastructure, says Taranaki-King Country MP Barbara Kuriger.

“$4 million from the Tourism Growth Partnership (TGP) has been set aside for regional tourism projects and the Government’s annual $3 million Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund is now open for applications,” says Barbara Kuriger.

“Tourism is booming across the region as people from around the world and New Zealand flock here to get up close with our native Kiwi and delve into the history of the Waitomo Caves. Last year there were over 233 thousand international guest nights in the Waitomo, Otorohanga, Stratford and Waipa regions, and over $312 million was spent by visitors in the wider Taranaki region.

“These visitors boost Taranaki-King Country’s economy, help create local jobs and provide endless opportunities for our great hospitality businesses. However, it’s vital we ensure growing visitor numbers are managed sustainably and that our region has the capacity to continue reaping the benefits of tourism. This funding is an important part of supporting this.”

The Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund helps manage the growing demand from tourists by providing communities with new or enhanced smaller infrastructure such as carparks and restrooms.

The TGP is a joint-funding partnership between the Government and the private sector to increase the value of existing tourism projects or to get new projects underway.

“There are numerous incredible tourism opportunities across the Taranaki and King Country regions. From the Forgotten World Highway in the South, right through to the beautiful sunny beaches on the Coast of the North, and everything in between. I would encourage communities and tourist operators throughout the region to find out more about the fund in order to maximise their tourism potential. 

“In May this year the Prime Minister announced a $1.2 million investment into developing an 80 bed lodge at the halfway point of the Timber Trail cycleway in the Pureora Forest. I am regularly in contact with the developers of this project, and I am inspired by the growth and aspiration that is at hand in order to enhance the tourism value of the Forest.

“We live in a privileged and beautiful part of the country, and need to maximise our natural assets so visitors are held spellbound by what we have to offer.

“It’s great to see the Government continuing to support tourism in New Zealand. Since 2008, we have invested an unprecedented $700 million in tourism and tourism promotion.

“This is helping fuel rapid growth in the sector. A record 3.34 million visitors came to New Zealand in the year ending July 2016, and spent an all-time high of $10.3 billion,” says Barbara Kuriger.

For more information about applying for the Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund, visit: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/tourism/regional-mid-sized-tourism-facilities-grant-fund

For more information about the TGP, visit http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/tourism/tourism-growth-partnership

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