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Events Fund Announces Second Round of Funding Recipients

Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund Announces Second Round of Funding Recipients

The second round of applications to the Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund have been considered and the successful recipients announced. Funding for the second round was granted to 25 events, to be held between October 2021 and April 2023, and totalled $1,975,055 in investment.

The events that secured funding are collectively set to attract over 100,000 out-of-region visitors, delivering an additional 216,000 bed nights and $48 million in visitor expenditure to the wider region.

The Regional Events Fund (REF) includes the Queenstown, Wānaka and Central Otago areas and is managed collectively through the Southern Lakes Events Investment Panel. Applications were assessed by the panel against a strict set of criteria and the fund’s foundation principles.

Southern Lakes Events Investment Panel Chair, Murray Strong, said the Southern Lakes Events Investment Panel was very impressed with the calibre of events that applied and the strong focus on event growth and capability building.

“It’s very exciting to announce another 25 events that will be running across the wider region between now and April 2023. It has been great to see the focus on event growth which has been enabled by the REF funding, as well as capability building across event infrastructure, marketing and event performance and professionalism.”

“The opportunity REF funding has provided to attract new events in the region is also very pleasing and this latest round has enabled more new events to be launched, including ones that align with core tourism sectors, such as new biking and food and beverage events,” said Mr Strong.

Success of the REF funding is measured via economic, social and sustainability criteria with weighting towards the economic benefit that events bring, to replace the loss of international visitation to the Southern Lakes region. The Southern Lakes Investment Panel is focused on developing a balanced events portfolio of small, medium and large-scale events to provide compelling reasons to visit the wider region year-round.

The Southern Lakes Regional Events fund is part of the government’s $50 million Regional Events Fund which aims to stimulate domestic tourism by supporting events. It is designed to stimulate travel between regions through holding events and helping to replace some of the spend lost from international tourists because of COVID-19.

The fund is available to International Marketing Alliance (IMA) groupings of the Regional Tourism Organisations (RTO’s). The Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund is shared between the IMA grouping of Destination Queenstown, Lake Wānaka Tourism and Tourism Central Otago.

The third and final round of event grants will be distributed in Jan/Feb 2022. For more information on the Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund and to see the full list of successful round one funding recipients, please visit the website.

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