Tourism industry bosses have praised the announcement of a $200 million support package from the government.
Tourism Minister Stuart Nash made the announcement at the TRENZ Hui 2021 in Christchurch on Thursday.
Some businesses will be eligible for a $5000 grant to help them plan for the future; they could also receive a further $5000 to help put those plans in action.
Some $14m will be used to convert loans from inbound tour operators, allocated last year, to grants.
Destination Kaikoura manager Louise Frend said the announcement gives her district some certainty going forward.
"The industry as a whole is reasonably excited about the announcement. On behalf of Kaikoura it's up to me to express heartfelt thanks to the minister for this very targetted support.
"This money is not just about marketing dollars but more so a reset to provide small business support, infrastructure and regional development.
Frend said the support will ensure their survival in the short term and transformation in the long term.
Tourism export council chief executive Lynda Keene also welcomed the announcement.
"We met with the minister [Nash] early on in the year and we picked up that more education was needed about the critical role that inbound tour operators play particularly with international tourism.
"The minister really began to see why it was so important that inbound tour operators were provided some other level of support because we were facing almost two years with zero revenue."
Keene said they act as a conduit for New Zealand tourism to the rest of the world.
"Our product is the tourism businesses here. We package it up for the offshore tour wholesalers and agents to then sell New Zealand internationally.
"When the minister understood that, things started to change. Without us in the tourism system, the international tourism recovery could actually take five to seven years."
Keene is not the only one who is pleased with this morning's announcement.
Holiday Parks New Zealand chief executive Fergus Brown said there are some really exciting things in the package.
"Providing additional funding for areas down south is really important as there are a lot of businesses who are really hurting down there.
"I think the wellness thing, getting people's heads back in the right place, is going to be good."
Brown said he thinks funding for inbound tour operators is exceptional because most New Zealand businesses use them.
The funding is targeted at a number of areas:
• $49m kick-start fund for tourism businesses to restart ahead of international visitors arriving
• $26m for Regional Tourism Organisations to plan, promote and market tourism activities
• $20m to diversify the Queenstown-Wanaka region away from tourism
• $16.5m for local councils to apply for new spending
• $15m to transform Milford Sound-Piopiotahi
• $14m to be used to convert loans from inbound tour operators, allocated last year, to grants
• $10m in grants for tourism businesses to get expert planning advice
• $10m in grants to help businesses implement those plans
• $10m in waived concession fees for around 1000 tourism business operators, trading on public conservation land
• $10m for a Tourism Industry Transformation Plan to create a more sustainable tourism model
• $4.5m for psychological and social wellbeing support and training