The announcement of $10 million funding over the next four years to strengthen the Maori tourism sector is great news for Rotorua, says the city's Chamber of Commerce boss.
The initiative announced in the Budget will provide support to "accelerate the business growth trajectory of emerging Maori tourism experiences", said New Zealand Maori Tourism.
Destination Rotorua chief executive Michelle Templer said it was great to see investment into Maori tourism and language.
"With so many inspirational leaders and entrepreneurs I hope it encourages new business development and ongoing growth," she said.
Rotorua Chamber of Commerce interim chief executive Allison Lawton also welcomed the investment.
"Any opportunity to invest in Maori tourism is excellent," she said. "Particularly for our city, as we are tourism pioneers."
Ms Lawton said it was great for the city and great for its tourism industry.
"When you go overseas the only thing that changes, the only thing that's different, is the indigenous cultures," she said. "Maori culture is recognised internationally, and this will really help make an impact in prolonging that."
Te Puia general manager sales and marketing Kiri Atkinson-Crean said it was exciting news for Maori tourism.
"We understand that this additional funding will enable the national organisation, NZ Maori Tourism, to develop new programmes and enrich existing ones designed to encourage new business development and strengthen already successful businesses," she said.
"It will also see NZ Maori Tourism to hone focus around Maori story-telling and regional development. This is excellent news."
Ms Atkinson-Crean said the depth and breadth of what defined Maori tourism was increasing all of the time.
"Maori tourism is a vehicle that not only brings economic benefits and supports livelihoods, but it can help perpetuate our culture, our stories as we are sharing them each day with visitors and with each other," she said.
"This can bring new confidence to Maori communities if it's done right - so yes, I think it is important and am very happy to see Maori tourism acknowledged specifically in this budget."
NZ Maori Tourism chief executive Pania Tyson-Nathan said they would continue to work with Maori tourism businesses to ensure they had the appropriate tools to flourish.
"NZ Maori Tourism is encouraged by the growing interest and demand for services in the regions, not only from locals, but from international visitors to New Zealand as well," she said.
"We look forward to growing the number, and breadth, of authentic Maori cultural experiences on offer in the region."