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Mayor welcomes tourism infrastructure funding

Mayor welcomes tourism infrastructure funding

Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult has congratulated Tourism Minister Paula Bennett for today’s announcement of a $178m package for tourism infrastructure including a $102m Tourism Infrastructure fund.

“As recently as last month this Council outlined to the Minister the extreme pressure that desirable visitor locations such as the Queenstown Lakes District are under to deliver quality visitor amenity and the need for a more comprehensive freedom camping strategy in regards to the provision of infrastructure like toilets and parking.”

Having met with the Minister, Mayor Boult followed up with a letter calling on a nationally consistent approach to the growing fleet of freedom campers and for the government to work together with local government to take a more proactive and consistent management approach.

“It is rewarding to see that the Government has listened and responded swiftly to those concerns. We recognise the importance of the tourism sector to the economy but the burden of visitor cost cannot be borne by local communities alone,” Mr Boult said.

Although QLDC would look forward to learning the detail around how the fund will be administered, Mayor Boult said he was hugely encouraged by the move.

“I agree entirely with the Minister that investing in the experience of our tourists will take a strong partnership approach and our Council has committed to be party to a more cohesive local body response,” Mayor Boult said.

His vision was that the experience for both visitors and the local community would be enhanced, locally, regionally and nationally.

“Whether you are a resident or a visitor coming to live or play in a place like this, the Queenstown Lakes District should offer a great experience and that same experience should be replicated right across the country,” he said.

The additional investment of $72m in the DOC estate was also welcomed. “Again this is a district where tracks are coming under increasing pressure and the potential to create new experiences and trails are high. It’s great news,” Mayor Boult said.

ENDS

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