Twenty six Inbound Tour Operators (ITOs) have been approved for a $20 million loan scheme as part of the Government’s tourism recovery plan and support for businesses, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today.
“ITOs will play an important role in helping to rebuild visitation once borders re-open, by linking overseas wholesalers and travel sellers with New Zealand tourism businesses,” Kelvin Davis said.
“The Government has acknowledged this role with the allocation of $20 million from the Tourism Recovery Fund to support ITOs, through loans with especially favourable terms and an extended repayment period, which will help them prepare for when our border opens.
“These 26 ITOs have been assessed to be of strategic importance and provide coverage of key overseas markets,” Kelvin Davis said.
Tourism Recovery Ministers have approved the loans key terms and conditions, which will also apply to Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme (STAPP) businesses.
Loan scheme details:
loans will be provided over a five year term
the loan principal will be provided interest-free for the first 24 months, after which the interest rate will be 3 per cent per annum
no repayments on loans will be required until the third year of the loans
“We’re pleased to be able to offer the same favourable terms and conditions to successful STAPP applicants who applied for a loan,” Kelvin Davis said.
Successful ITOs and STAPP applicants will receive a letter outlining the details of the loan scheme this week.
When the offers are finalised they will be published on the Tourism Recovery section on MBIE’s website.
Tourism Recovery Package
The Government has committed $400 million to support the tourism industry to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The recovery package consists of:
$290.4 million for the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme (STAPP), which includes dedicated financial support to 130 tourism businesses, 31 Regional Tourism Organisations and 26 Inbound Tourism Operators.
$50 million for a Regional Events Fund, to stimulate the domestic visitor market.
$17 million for the Tourism Transitions Programme, which provides support and advice to tourism businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19.
$10 million for Digital Capability, to help tourism businesses to develop digital strategies, access digital tools and benefit from existing digital enablement initiatives.
$10 million for NZ Māori Tourism, to support activities including training for young people and Māori tourism operators, business support and mentoring.
$25 million to the Department of Conservation, to offset the payment of tourism concession fees to DoC for the period of 1 March 2020 to June 2021.