The Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation has announced $700,000 in funding is going to support tourism in the Whanganui District.
The funding is part of the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme (STAPP), which was created in response to COVID-19 to protect assets in the tourism industry, and has been allocated to Regional Tourism Organisations (RTO) across New Zealand.
Paul Chaplow from Whanganui & Partners says he is delighted by the additional funding, which represents a significant boost to the RTO’s budget.
“We welcome this funding and want to thank MBIE and the Minister for both recognising the needs of the tourism industry and supporting every region’s activity in this area.”
The funding can be used for destination management, industry capability building, product development and domestic marketing. Chaplow says one of the most important projects to come from this funding will be the Destination Management Plan.
“A Destination Management Plan brings together different stakeholders to achieve the common goal of developing a well-managed visitor destination. It will allow us to make the most of our opportunities while ensuring our visitor industry is sustainable,” he said.
“We were already undertaking a Destination Management Plan, but the STAPP funding represents an opportunity to make the plan more substantial and meaningful to our district.”
Chaplow says he is also looking forward to an increased domestic marketing budget.
“The STAPP funding will allow Whanganui to be promoted throughout the year rather than on a campaign by campaign basis,” he said.
“This was the first winter we’ve done a destination marketing campaign, and we’ve seen the impact. We know that our marketing is having a positive effect, and I’m really excited to see what we can do with an increased budget.”