As the New Zealand border remains relatively closed well into the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic, tourism businesses throughout our region are still facing challenges.

Some are operating with the limited domestic and trans-Tasman market, some are in hibernation, some have or will shut up shop. Some may even be starting to plan for the future return of visitors.

If your tourism business is based in the Queenstown Lakes District (or in another selected South Island community) and your future relies on a different business model or planning for the return of international visitors, you may be eligible for additional government funding.

The Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan offers three initiatives with the first two initiatives main eligibility criteria is that your business is a tourism business or a service business that provides outputs to a tourism business. For the Tourism kick-start fund, there is an additional eligibility criteria that your business has been experiencing a 50% or more drop in revenue compared to pre-Covid levels.

The three support initiatives

  1. Business Advisory Support – $10 million for Business Advisory Support (up to $5,000 per business) to enable businesses to receive expert advice and support, such as whether to change their business to target a different market, down-scale their tourism business, or exit the market.
  2. Advice Implementation Grant – $10 million in grants for businesses to implement the advice received through the Business Advisory Support fund, or satisfactory alternative provider (up to $5,000 per business).
  3. Tourism Kick-start Fund – $49 million to help prepare existing tourism businesses for the return of international visitors. The grant will be calculated based on 2 weeks of pre-Covid-19 revenue set at 2 weeks of average revenue for 2019/20.
    • If your revenue in 2019/20 financial year was $60,000-$260,000, you would receive $10,000.
    • If your revenue in 2019/20 financial year was more than $260,000, you would receive 2 weeks revenue up to a maximum of $50,000.

Business Eligibility criteria

A business must be:

  • Physically based within at least one of the five communities: Queenstown Lakes District, Southland District, Kaikōura District, Mackenzie District, or Westland District.
  • GST registered business, or GST registered prior to Covid-19.
  • A tourism business, which is defined as a business where at least 50 per cent of its operational output is purchased by tourists (domestic or international), for example: Accommodation, Arts and Recreational Services, Food Services, Transport Services or Retail Trade. This can include service businesses whose output is purchased by tourism businesses.

And in addition for the Tourism Kick-start Fund:

  • Have engaged in hibernation-like activities, for example: reduced opening hours, level of services, or business capacity due to Covid-19. Compared to 2019, a business must have experienced a drop in revenue of at least 50 per cent on average.
  • Not have received direct Government tourism support from the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme.

What next?

For businesses based in the Queenstown Lakes District, either:

For full details, go to MBIE.

Please get in touch if you would like help in determining your eligibility, applying, or if you want to discuss covid-19 business assistance.