Travel Update

Travel Update

New Zealand’s international borders are now open to Australian and other visa-waiver visitors. For the latest information on COVID-19 guidelines when travelling to or around New Zealand, visit

Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund

The purpose of the Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund is to stimulate inter- and intra-regional domestic visitation. It does this by supporting events which will encourage expenditure missed by international visitor markets.

The Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund has been created from part of the Government's $50m Regional Events Fund (REF). The Southern Lakes International Marketing Alliance has been allocated $8.5million over a two to four year timeframe. 

This funding supports commercial events which maximise economic benefit to the region, optimise the region’s assets and venues, and encourage out of region visitation.



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 three funding rounds in 2021 and 2022. 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

Round 3 Open: 21 February – 18 March 2022 

  • Open to conferences and incentives taking place between 1 April 2022 until 31 December 2022.

For more information, please click here.


Business Events eligibility and assessment criteria for Applications

This scheme is applicable only for New Zealand based delegates visiting the regions of Queenstown, Wānaka and Central Otago from other regions in New Zealand. 

  • This scheme is applicable only for New Zealand based delegates visiting the regions of Queenstown, Wānaka and Central Otago from other regions in New Zealand.
  • Group size of minimum 75pax and above, travelling and attending the program together.
  • Minimum stay of three nights for the main business event. This must be in Queenstown, Wānaka or Central Otago with a minimum two night stays taking place on weeknights (Sunday - Thursday night).
  • Stay for the main Business Event (Conference or Incentive) will be outside New Zealand public holidays and school holidays.
  • The majority of the delegates attending the event must be from within New Zealand.
  • Declaration will be required of the following statement: 'The event is not yet determined to take place in Queenstown, Central Otago or Wānaka and is at the tendering/research phase of planning. A successful application which meets the above criteria will support the conversion of this event to come to the region'.
  • The organisation must have a registered New Zealand business number.

The criteria states that the Business Events Incentive Scheme under the Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund will give priority to events that meet all of the above criteria.



Eligible organisations

Associations, Conference Organisers, Corporate Companies or Incentive Organisers can submit an application form. Applications should come from the Corporate Company or the Organisation that is taking on the financial responsibility to organise and deliver the Business Event. The funds will be paid directly to the organisation which has the financial responsibility of the event (the end client, not the event management company if one is engaged).

All applications will be reviewed by the Southern Lakes Events Incentive Panel (SLEIP) with outcomes communicated via email.

Once the application is confirmed, a funding agreement will be issued.

A post event report will be due to the Southern Lakes Event Manager two weeks after the completion of the event.

Upon the acceptance of the report by the SLEIP, the funding will be paid based on the final number of attendees who physically attended the event. This will take place on the 20th of the month following receipt of the funding invoice submitted to the SLEIP.


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