Budget 2020 includes a $400 million targeted tourism recovery fund as the sector struggles to survive the fallout from Covid-19.

The package "will go over and above the government's broad-based support of businesses and workers and reflects the importance of tourism to Aotearoa, our economy and our people," Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis said.

Initial Contribution

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the $400m was an "initial contribution" to transforming that industry.

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"I don't think anyone thinks it's going to be the same again and certainly not the same again for many, many years to come."

The package includes a programme that will provide advice and support for businesses to pivot towards the domestic and Australian market, hibernating a firm, or other options.

It includes a programme to identify and safeguard strategic assets.

Future thinking

A minister's group will be created to oversee the package and a public-private taskforce will lead thinking on the future of tourism in New Zealand.

The $400m will also fund a domestic tourism campaign to stimulate domestic tourism as well as some funding for international markets, despite the border closure.

The sector will also benefit from the 12-week extension to the wage subsidy scheme.

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Under the scheme from June 10, businesses that have suffered - or expect to suffer – revenue losses of at least 50 per cent for the 30-day period prior to the application date versus the nearest comparable last year will be eligible for the extension.

The big-ticket items of today's budget include:

• A $3.2 billion extension of the wage subsidy scheme
• A $1.2 billion railway package
• A $3 billion infrastructure investment package
• A $1.6 billion trades and training scheme
• A $220 million expansion of the school lunches initiative
• A $400 million targeted tourism support fund
• A $830 million disability support package

- BusinessDesk