• Patrick McBride

$50m of Tourism events to drive local economies

Another cash lifeline is being rolled out to the regions after the approval of funding towards a wide range of events and activities to stimulate domestic tourism.

Contracts have been signed with all nine regional tourism groupings to enable a $50 million Regional Events Fund to be distributed around the country.

“Event organisers and tourism operators from Northland to Southland will benefit from the events outlined in the plans from their regional organisations,” said Tourism Minister Stuart Nash.

“Events drive visitors, which brings economic spin-offs across the accommodation, hospitality and wider tourism and retail sectors. The Regional Events Fund was part of the government’s $400 million Tourism Recovery package.

“As well as stimulating local economies, the Regional Events Fund will also strengthen regions’ event management expertise and event strategy development,” said Stuart Nash.

Recent research by Tourism NZ also highlighted that a regional event, such as a festival, concert, exhibition, sports fixture, or food and beverage experience, is a major drawcard for Kiwis planning a domestic holiday.

Northland and Auckland, which received the largest investment, will use their $19 million by allocating funding for significant major and business events that will supplement existing programmes and strategies across Auckland and Northland.

The Regional Events Fund funding is allocated to nine groups of Regional Tourism Organisations based on each region’s share of international visitor spending prior to COVID19.

Each group submitted an investment plan outlining their target audiences, how funding would stimulate visits from outside their region, and how they will collaborate rather than compete with other regions.

Canterbury & West Coast marketing alliance: ChristchurchNZ, Venture Timaru, Hurunui Tourism, Development West Coast, Destination Kaikōura, Mackenzie Tourism were allocated


The tourism investment will be used to develop and grow a focused portfolio of events that attracts visitors throughout the year. The tourism events will be designed to express the spirit of the region and its people, and leave a positive legacy for its community. It is also key opportunity to enhance regional collaboration.

The key focus areas are:

- Showcase the region and encourage collaboration on any shared event themes and regional strengths such as food & wine, agriculture, adventure, wildlife, culture, as well as business events and family friendly events.

-Capability building, so that events are set up in a way to successfully attract visitors and deliver an increased contribution to the regional economies

-Identify synergies and intra-regional leverage opportunities with new or existing events that can complement touring routes within the region

-Collaborative programming of events across the region.