Kelly Tarlton's among tourism businesses to benefit from $311 million Covid-19 recovery boost

The Government has allocated and approved $311 million from its tourism package in Budget 2020 to help the tourism sector recover from its slow-down amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Penguin being fed at Kelly Tarlton's (file picture). Source:

Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis said the funding aimed to “protect strategic tourism businesses, drive domestic tourism through regional events and lift digital capability in the tourism industry”. It is expected to help about 3000 people employed in the tourism sector.

Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium, Zealandia, Polynesian Spa and Waitomo Adventures are among the 108 tourism businesses and 18 Māori tourism businesses receiving funding. 

The funding is part of the $400 million set aside in Budget 2020’s Tourism Recovery Package. The $311 million announced today included a mixture of grants of up to $500,000 and loans. 

Mr Davis said there would also be investment into a Regional Events Fund to encourage domestic tourism.

“We’re supporting the tourism industry to help weather the storm, adapt to build new ways of working and new products, and build a foundation that will mean we have a more sustainable tourism industry that benefits all New Zealanders in the future,” he said.

Breakdown of the funding:

  • More than $230 million in grants and loans for 126 tourism businesses, expected to help 3000 people directly employed in the industry
  • $50 million for a Regional Events Fund
  • $20 million inbound tour operator loan scheme
  • $10 million to lift digital capability in the sector