Queenstown, New Zealand (17 January 2022) – Applications for the third and final round of the Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund are now open. Applicants have until the 11 February 2022 to submit their application, which will consider events held in the May 2022 – February 2023 period.
Since the introduction of this fund over 12 months ago, a total of $4.1 million has been granted to 44 events, with a number of these events now successfully delivered and more in the pipeline for this year.
To date, the events that secured regional events funding are set to collectively attract over 180,000 out-of-region visitors. Where events have been postponed due to COVID restrictions, the funding has been rolled over, and these events will be delivered in 2022 adding to the region’s thriving events calendar.
This helps to give event organisers financial certainty when planning events in the current climate, while also supporting events aiming to become permanent fixtures in the region. The fund is also crucial to improving the region’s event capacity and capability as well as driving domestic visitation and spend.
With the region now facing the third consecutive year of COVID-related impacts, and with the local events and tourism industry facing huge challenges, the fund aims to stimulate domestic travel to the region through holding events and to help replace some of the expenditure lost from international tourists due to COVID-19.
The focus for this final round of funding will be on supporting existing iconic events as well as developing new events. Applications will be assessed, by an independent panel, against a strict set of criteria and the fund’s foundation principles.
The Southern Lakes region - including Queenstown, Wānaka, Central Otago and Fiordland - was allocated $8.5 million over a 2–4-year timeframe and the fund is managed collectively by the RTOs through the Southern Lakes Events Investment Panel.
The key focus for the panel has been to ensure that events maximise economic benefit to the region, optimise the region's assets and venues, replace the current lack of sponsorship, and drive out-of-region, non-competing domestic visitation to help compensate for some of the shortfall created by lack of international visitors.
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.
For more information, or to apply for Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund, please visit the website.