Councils across New Zealand have requested their slice of tourism funding to help ease pressure made on communities from the expected 5.1 million visitors by 2024.
The Government’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund provides $100 million over four years to aid in tourism-related infrastructure, like such as carparks, toilets, and transport projects.
“Where the visitors are spending their money doesn’t necessarily end up directly back into those who are having to provide those facilities,” Tourism Aotearoa CEO Chris Roberts told The AM Show.
That’s precisely where the Tourism Infrastructure Fund is supposed to come in.
In 2017, $14.2 million was given to various local councils in the Government’s first round of allocations. Another $25 million is available each year for councils, with the second round of requests currently under review.
Mr Roberts, who’s on the funding panel, told The AM Show that round two of funding saw another 50 applications from local councils requesting aid for their regions.
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But there was one request that rang true for the majority of the local councils – public toilets.
“That seems to be where the community is feeling the pinch, quite literally,” Mr Roberts explained.
Other requests included new carparks, waste disposal facilities, walkways, among others.
“But there’s clearly a feeling across the country that we don’t have enough public loos,” Mr Roberts emphasised.
The Government recently proposed a border tax of $25-$35 to be collected from tourists, which is expected to reap up to $80 million in its first year. The tax, which is expected to be implemented in 2019, will help support tourism infrastructure.
Watch the full interview with Chris Roberts above.
The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.