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Travel Update

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Southern Lakes Regional Events Funding

Queenstown / Wanaka / Central Otago

This is a contestable fund. Refer to the following timeline for funding rounds. If you have any questions about the Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund, please contact the Southern Lakes Events Manager, Catherine Fallon

Application window open Outcome communicated Event dates                         Status 
11 January 2021 - 15 February 2021 March 2021 1 March 2021 - 28 February 2022 Closed
1 July 2021 - 6 August 2021  September 2021 1 November 2021 -  August 2022 Closed
17 January 2022 - 11 February 2022 April 2022 1 April 2022 - 31 March 2023 Closed

About the Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund

THE PURPOSE OF THE REGIONAL EVENTS FUND IS TO STIMULATE DOMESTIC INTER AND INTRA-REGIONAL VISITATION THROUGH FUNDING EVENTS THAT WILL ENCOURAGE EXPENDITURE MISSED BY INTERNATIONAL VISITOR MARKETS.

Reference: https://www.mbie.govt.nz/immigration-and-tourism/tourism/tourism-recovery/regional-events-fund/

The fund is available to the nine International Marketing Alliance (IMA) groupings of the Regional Tourism Organisations (RTO’s). The Southern Lakes IMA (Queenstown, Wanaka, Central Otago & Fiordland) have been allocated $8.5million over a 2-4-year timeframe, commencing in 2021.

Destination Fiordland’s portion of the fund ($850,000) has been allocated as a separate amount, while the Queenstown, Wanaka and Central Otago allocation will remain pooled at $7,650,000, to be invested via bi-annual contestable funding rounds.

Events that receive Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund investment must demonstrate that the event meet the Fund’s criteria.


 

Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund Executive Summary

The key focus of the Southern Lakes Events Investment Panel (SLEIP) will be to ensure that those events funded from the Regional Events Fund maximise economic benefit to the region, optimise the regions assets and venues, replace the current lack of sponsorship and drive out-of-region, non-competing domestic visitation to help compensate for some of the shortfall created by lack of international visitors. This supports the immediate goal of supporting the wider business community in the region while supporting local event operators and suppliers that have felt the full impact of border closures during 2020 and beyond.

It also aligns with longer term strategic goals to develop the region as an event friendly destination that encourages and supports the development of a balanced portfolio of events that reinforce the key economic, community and strategic directions of the region.

Success will be measured via economic, social and sustainability criteria with weighting towards the economic benefit that events bring, to replace the loss of international visitation to the Southern Lakes region.


 

Fund Foundation Principles

The Foundation Principles of the fund include prioritising events that;

  • Drive out of region visitation
  • Bring measurable economic benefit to the region
  • Collaborate with, but do not compete with other regional or large national events
  • Compliment a regional calendar of events that is well-balanced to create year-round stimulation
  • Offer leverage opportunities to local business
  • Engage the local workforce
  • Demonstrate community and social licence
  • Demonstrate a prospect for enduring legacy and stability
  • Utilise current regional infrastructure
  • Use 50% local suppliers
  • Demonstrate strategies to mitigate, reduce and offset carbon footprints.

     

Application expectations

All applications will be considered on:

  • Strength of the funding proposition;
  • Scope of the event;
  • Implications of investment against the pool of funds remaining in the total fund for allocation;
  • Previous funding and funding from other sources.

 

The Fund Criteria

The Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund is an investment fund to primarily support commercial events that maximise economic benefit to the region, optimise the region’s assets and venues and drive out of region visitation. To be eligible for investment the event must be held within the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago districts.  Some events, depending on if the event is new, it’s size and the expected investment, will be subject to a pre economic and social impact evaluation. All events will be subject to post economic and social impact evaluation. This relates to the ability of an event to drive and stimulate benefits to the region in the form of new expenditure and or future investment to the region.


 

Eligibility and Assessment Criteria

Foundation principles and a robust set of criteria have been created to focus the investment of the Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund. Criteria will be updated as required. Current criteria apply to all investment decisions made within the 2021/2022 period.


The Foundation principles state that the Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund will give priority to events in the Southern Lakes region that are or have the potential to;

  • Drive out of region visitation
  • Bring measurable economic benefit to the region.  
  • Collaborate with, but do not significantly conflict with other regional or large national events.
  • Compliment a regional calendar of events that is well-balanced to create year round stimulation.
  • Offer leverage opportunities to local business.
  • Engage the local workforce.
  • Demonstrate community and social licence
  • Demonstrate a prospect for enduring legacy and stability
  • Utilise current regional infrastructure.
  • Use 50% local suppliers.
  • Demonstrate strategies to mitigate, reduce and offset carbon footprints.

The organisation responsible for the event must be a legal entity with a demonstrated ability to deliver significant events.


 

An event can apply for funding to support costs including, but not limited to:

  • Enhancement which will increase attendance from out of the region
  • Infrastructure which is able to be redeployed supporting the event to become more cost-effective to deliver in future years i.e. signage which is generic and not labeled with an event year or sponsors.
  • Process development such as Waste Management and Marketing plans which will form the basis for future years delivery of the event
  • Reporting measurement of the event

 

An event is unlikely to receive investment if it:

  • Is a community focused event, that does not appeal to attendees outside of the region;
  • Is looking to support capital works costs;
  • Is seeking investment to underwrite an event;  
  • Will adversely affect an existing event due to timing or any other reason;
  • Does not allow sufficient time to develop and activate leverage and legacy planning;
  • Does not allow sufficient time to apply for and attain council consent – e.g. resource consent or permits;
  • Does not procure 50% of local suppliers;
  • Engages out of region human resource at the expense of local resource; 
  • Is not supported by an experienced event management team;
  • Does not provide a complete and up-to-date health and safety plan that incorporates a risk management plan;
  • Is generating a large profit or surplus, suggesting that investment is not required;
  • Does not meet minimum criteria via mandatory economic impact pre event reporting; 
  • Does not attempt to mitigate, reduce or offset its carbon footprint;
  • Cannot be supported by regional infrastructure;
  • Fails to prove that the event has the social licence to take place within the region; 
  • Primary purpose is to promote religious, ministry or political objectives;

 

Business Events Incentive Scheme (BEIS) 

Within the Regional Events Fund, the Southern Lakes Events Investment Panel (SLEIP) has earmarked budget to encourage conversions for high value business event leads. The aim of this is to accelerate conference and incentive visitation into the Queenstown, Wānaka and Central Otago regions. This scheme will be open for applications over two funding rounds in 2021. Successful applications will receive the support of $150 per actual attendee to the event. 

This funding can be used to/for: 

  • Travel expenses to the region
  • Boost delegate numbers through strategic marketing campaigns (public events only)
  • Offset costs which would have otherwise prevented the event from being able to take place in Queenstown, Wānaka or Central Otago

Applications for the Business Event Incentive Scheme have now closed. If you have any queries please contact Southern Lakes Business Development Events office.  

For further information on the fund, eligibility criteria and the application process, please click here.


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