New Zealand Government Announces Tourism Kickstart Fund

Mark your calendars – the New Zealand Tourism Kickstart Fund applications open April 1st.

Last week, the New Zealand Government announced earlier dates set to welcome international travellers back into the country.  From 12 April, vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents can enter New Zealand and self-test on arrival. Then from 1st May vaccinated visitors from visa waiver countries, and visitors from other countries who already hold a valid visitor visa can enter New Zealand and self-test on arrival. After years of heavy restrictions, these changes will allow international travellers to finally visit New Zealand without hesitation.

As international visitors will be welcomed into the country once again, the government also announced the new $49 million Tourism Kickstart Fund. This fund will be open to businesses situated in the 5 hardest-hit South Island communities that are the most reliant on international visitors. This financial aid will support existing businesses as they prepare for the return of international travellers – from hiring and training new staff, to sourcing stock and refreshing facilities.


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If your business is situated in Queenstown Lakes, Southland, Kaikōura, Mackenzie and Westland Districts, then you may be eligible to apply for a grant between $10,000 and $50,000.

The grant will be calculated based on 2 weeks of pre-COVID-19 revenue set at 2 weeks of annual revenue for the 2019/20 financial year. 

Eligibility criteria

Your business must be:

  1. physically based within at least 1 of these areas: Queenstown Lakes, Southland, Kaikōura, Mackenzie and Westland Districts;
  2. a GST registered business, or GST registered prior to COVID-19 (2019/20 financial year) and have a New Zealand Business Number;
  3. operating in a commercial environment;
  4. a privately‐owned business or Māori Trust or incorporation under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993;
  5. a tourism business (where at least 50% of its operational output is purchased by tourists – domestic or international).

For more information, please see the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment government website.

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About the author

Kendra, the Marketing Content Manager at Preno, brings her expertise in Marketing and Communications to help hoteliers stay ahead of the curve. With a deep passion for the industry, she is committed to providing valuable insights and strategies for success.

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