A programme to build a skilled tourism workforce and a recovery plan for the critically endangered kākāpō are among the first projects to receive funding through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL), Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.
An initial investment plan of ten tourism and conservation projects will receive $18 million from the IVL this year, with an expected $42 million to be invested in these ten projects over five years.
Kelvin Davis said the projects are tangible examples of how visitors will directly contribute to the natural environment they enjoy, and the infrastructure they use.
“Our Government is making good progress on our plan to enrich New Zealand through sustainable tourism growth,” Kelvin Davis said.
“The IVL is supporting projects that will help ensure tourism continues to benefit communities, visitors, and the environment by investing back into the system.
“The four tourism projects being funded focus on important destination management planning, innovative ways of managing our iconic destinations, and building a skilled, productive and rewarding tourism workforce that meets the industry’s needs.
“I also want to acknowledge all the agencies and councils who have worked hard readying these projects for investment. This work has been underway for a while and it’s fantastic that the IVL can now move these projects forward,” Kelvin Davis said.
Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage says that tourism can play a role in protecting, restoring and championing the natural environment, and cultural and historic heritage upon which tourism relies.
“Today we’re announcing that funds from the IVL will be invested in great projects that protect and enhance the natural environment and indigenous biodiversity, and safeguard Aotearoa’s taonga,” Eugenie Sage said.
“There is a strong desire from the government, industry and the public for tourism to be a part of the solution for the substantial conservation challenges we face; especially the impact of invasive predators, and habitat loss and degradation. The IVL is a clear and significant step towards achieving this, and complements the conservation efforts many tourism businesses already make.
“Through this funding, we’re investing in the future of kākāpō, and giving nature a much needed helping hand with plans to eradicate cats, pigs and mice on the Maukahuka/Auckland Islands. In the Mackenzie Basin and Aoraki National Park with support for Te Manahuna Aoraki we are taking strides towards achieving a predator-free New Zealand.
“The IVL is also investing in protecting taonga species by investing in compliance work to reduce the trade in endangered species.
“Everyone benefits from this kind of investment in Aotearoa,” Eugenie Sage said.
The projects are being funded as a part of an initial investment plan. A long-term investment plan is being developed, and is expected to be released in October 2019.