New toilets provide comfort for communities & visitors
Small communities across the country will be better placed to respond to growing visitor numbers following today’s announcement that the Government will invest $5.2 million in 28 new infrastructure projects – almost all toilets.
The tourism industry is welcoming the investment, which will benefit regions from Northland to Central Otago, says Chris Roberts, Chief Executive of Tourism Industry Aotearoa.
The money has been allocated under the Government’s Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund.
Mr Roberts says while the Government investment is positive, the Fund was too narrowly focused and it is right that it is being replaced.
The Government announced in May that the Fund of $12m over four years will be rolled into a new Tourism Infrastructure Fund of $100 million over four years.
“Tourism is now worth $35 billion annually to New Zealand and is forecast to keep growing strongly. To ensure that the industry develops sustainably and retains the support of communities across New Zealand, there needs to be investment in a range of infrastructure, including visitor accommodation, telecommunications and road transport. This will require responses from both the Government and the private sector.
“There also needs to be much greater investment in mix-used infrastructure that is typically provided by local councils and services both locals and visitors, such as public toilets, parking, signage, access ways, and water and sewerage systems. The Government has a vital supporting role to play, especially for those Councils with small ratepayer bases.
“New toilets provide some immediate relief, but the new Tourism Infrastructure Fund will be able to support a broader range of tourism-related projects that both respond to current needs and support communities to capture a greater share of the tourism bonanza.”