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Government Tourism Funding For Wellington And Wairarapa

Tempting Kiwis to visit Wellington and the Wairarapa post-lockdown through sassy marketing campaigns just got a financial boost.

WellingtonNZ (up to $1 million) and Destination Wairarapa (up to $400,000) will receive the funding as part of the Government’s Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) $20.2 million package.

RTOs are responsible for destination marketing to promote their regions to potential visitors.

WellingtonNZ General Manager David Perks says the funding comes at a time when the emphasis is wholly on domestic tourists as the country’s international borders remain closed.

“WellingtonNZ has a long, successful history as a domestic tourism marketer and we are confident of being able to take advantage of Tourism New Zealand’s Do Something new, New Zealand domestic marketing campaign which provides us a platform to convert opportunities for businesses.

“The Government funding allows us more financial headroom to leverage off that campaign and pump life into our visitor sector which includes hospitality, retail, tourism operators and accommodation providers.

“Wellington is known as the country’s premier city destination for a short break or long weekend. We know how to look after visitors and show them a good time, which will hold us in good stead as we rebound from the Covid crisis.”

Mr Perks says the funding is not just about enabling WellingtonNZ to undertake more targeted domestic marketing campaigns but to also develop a visitor sector destination plan to make the region an even more exciting place to visit in years to come, better connect tourism operators with Covid-19 assistance and help businesses become more resilient by building capability.

“The key is helping businesses differentiate between visitors who are interested in their products and those who are not,” Mr Perks says. “Achieve that and it will be money well spent.”

Destination Wairarapa General Manager Anna Nielson says extra funding is always welcome but even more so as we head into winter, traditionally a slower time for tourism.

“International border restrictions make it even more challenging in terms of visitors but we do have a lot to market in the Wairarapa.

“We look forward to Wellingtonians popping over the hill to take in the likes of Martinborough’s award winning wineries, shopping at Greytown, browsing for books old and new in Featherston, taking the family for a day out in Masterton, or getting close to nature at Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre at Mt Bruce.

“And we also have Wings over Wairarapa which is confirmed for 26-28 February 2021. It’s always a drawcard for Wellingtonians looking for a fabulous few days away.

“The Government funding, coming as it does on the back of Foley Wines announcing it would later this year start construction on a multi-million-dollar wine and gin development in Martinborough, will allow us to better promote Wairarapa’s tourism offerings and provides a real shot of confidence to the entire region.”

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