Budget 2017: Regions targeted in tourism push
Regional employment opportunities are set to grow on the back of $10 million in Budget 2017 funding for Māori tourism operators, says Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell.
“We all know how much the Māori economy contributes to the regions and this funding will help expand the range of tourism options for visitors which will in turn provide more job opportunities,” says Mr Flavell, who is also Māori Development Minister.
“There remains a lot of untapped potential out there for whānau to capitalise on the tourism sector, ranging from accommodation, to hospitality and through to cultural and heritage experiences.
“Part of the funding will be used to pilot Māori historical tour trails which, like the cycle trails, could provide a unique new experience for areas that are often overlooked by visitors and at the same time provide employment opportunities for entrepreneurial whānau,” she says.
The operating funding over a period of four years will be managed by New Zealand Māori Tourism – Te Tāpoi Ararau.
“Māori tourism contributes around $1.7 billion a year to the revenue the country gets from international tourists but that is just 12 percent and there is room to grow that further,” says party co-leader Marama Fox.
“The Budget also provides $1 million a year over the next two years to support whānau-centred initiatives to support the objectives of Hē Kai Kei Aku Ringa – the Crown-Māori economic growth partnership that is focused on the regions” says Mr Flavell.