More public toilets will be built at tourist hotspots following the latest round of funding from the Government's tourism infrastructure fund.
Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced the allocation of $19.3 million today, with much of the funding going to wastewater and sewage schemes and public toilets.
The largest investments include:
• $5.71m to the Southland District Council for the construction of a new land-based wastewater disposal system at Te Anau, infrastructure along the Southern Scenic Route and the upgrading of a carpark at Lake Manapouri Visitor Centre
• $2.39m to Queenstown Lakes District Council for the provision of toilet facilities across key locations throughout the district
• $2m to Thames-Coromandel District Council for an upgrade of visitor infrastructure in Hahei to respond to growth at nearby Cathedral Cove, as well as upgrades and new toilet facilities at Whangapoua and Onemana beaches
• $1.34m to the Far North District Council for three Bay of Islands sewerage and wastewater feasibility studies, toilet facilities across the district and the upgrade of carpark at Kawakawa to support the Hundertwasser Park Centre – Te Hononga project
• $980,000 to the Westland District Council for the provision of toilet and freedom camping facilities at Ross, Whataroa, Kumara and Hokitika.
Around 30 toilet or wastewater projects will be co-funded (with local authorities) from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund, which provides $100m over four years for the development of visitor-related public infrastructure.
Funds are also going to multi-purpose cycling hub near Taupō, tourism facilities in Gisborne to support the celebration next year of Captain James Cook's arrival in 1769 and a feasibility study looking at infrastructure for public rocket-launch viewing facilities and the Wairoa to Gisborne cycle trail.
Davis said the funding was to ensure local communities could feel the benefits of a healthy tourism sector, rather than the pressure it can create.
The funding will be spread across 31 councils and community organisations.
"The extraordinary growth in visitor numbers we've seen over the past few years will likely continue for the foreseeable future, and these investments are essential to improving the quality of our tourism infrastructure to help manage that growth," Davis said.
He said the funding was on top of the $8.5m the Government committed last month to help communities manage freedom camping in their areas during the upcoming summer season.
"Managed well, tourism growth can significantly boost our economy, bring wealth to the regions and improve New Zealanders' quality of life by creating more vibrant communities.
Davis said he was also looking at ways the Government can step up to its ''stewardship role'' in bringing the industry together to create a more productive and sustainable sector.
"For example, we're considering responsible camping legislation and how that might need to change for everyone's benefit.''
The Government was also imposing an international visitor levy to provide sustainable funding for infrastructure and conservation.
Under the proposal, most international visitors (except those from Australia and the Pacific) entering New Zealand for 12 months or less will be charged a levy of $25 to $35.
Davis said the Government was also funding attractions through the Provincial Growth Fund that would help provide year-round jobs in the regions.