Tourism Infrastructure Budget Announcement
Tourism Infrastructure Budget Announcement: What does it mean for recreation?
The New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) has welcomed government announcements today, increasing funding for Tourism Infrastructure to be delivered by the Department of Conservation, local governments and community organisations, but cautions against an untargeted approach.
“This is pleasing recognition that the tourism boom has placed pressure on our recreational infrastructure and created pressure points,” said NZRA CEO, Andrew Leslie.
“The Department of Conservation and Territorial Local Authorities have, almost by default, borne the burden. These entities have struggled to cope with the pressures placed upon their carparking, wastewater and recreational infrastructure. This has forced them to make some very tough decisions between catering for international visitors and their role of providing for New Zealand recreationalists,” he said
“Given that most tourists come to New Zealand engage in recreational activities such as walking and cycling, we believe that the majority of the funding should be allocated to recreational infrastructure. Building recreational infrastructure such as walking trails and cycleways, is not just a coping mechanism for the tourism boom. It also enhances the lives of New Zealanders by way of the numerous social, economic and health benefits of outdoor recreation,” he said.
He added “For that reason, it is essential that a targeted approach is taken to ensure that funding is applied to projects that benefit both New Zealanders and tourists. Much can be done to reduce the barriers to participation that New Zealanders already face”.
“It is pleasing to see the focus on building Great Short Walks and Great Day Walks. Walking is New Zealand’s most popular form of recreation,” he said.