Tourism Support Funding

Alongside the Business Advisory Support initiative and Business Advice Implementation Grant, the Government is making wider support available through the Tourism Kick-start Fund ($49 million) to help tourism businesses within the Southland District Council rating area prepare for the return of international visitors.

The Tourism Kick-start Fund is linked to the border re-opening, so the accelerated move to re-opening our border and removal of self-isolation for vaccinated travellers means it is timely to now open the fund.

Businesses will be able to apply for the Tourism Kick-start Fund from 1 April 2022. In the meantime, you can review the eligibility criteria below, and if you think your business might be eligible, register your interest below.

The Tourism Kick-start Fund available for eligible businesses is between a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $50,000 per business operation (excluding GST). This grant is a contribution to increasing businesses’ levels of service in preparation for the return of international visitors and should not be relied upon to sustain the business.

Eligibility criteria

Your business must:

  1. be a GST registered business, or GST registered prior to COVID-19 (2019/20 financial year);
  2. have a New Zealand Business Number. If you do not have a New Zealand Business Number, you can register to get one on the NZBN website:
    o Get your NZBN — there’s one for every Kiwi business
  3. be operating in a commercial environment;
  4. be a privately‐owned business or Māori Trust or incorporation under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 or similar organisation managing Māori assets under multiple ownership;
  5. be a tourism business, which is defined as a business where at least 50% of its operational output is purchased by tourists (domestic or international), for example: Accommodation, Arts and Recreational Services, Food Services, Transport Services or Retail Trade. This can include service businesses whose output is purchased by tourism businesses;
  6. be physically based within the Southland District Council rating area (1 grant per business operation);
  7. have engaged in hibernation-like activities, for example: reduced opening hours, level of services, customers or business capacity due to COVID-19. Compared to 2019/20 financial year, a business must have experienced a drop in annual revenue of at least 50%;
  8. have a minimum annual revenue of $60,000 pre-COVID-19 (2019/20 financial year);
  9. not have received direct Government tourism support from the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme; and
  10. pass a viability test demonstrating that the business will remain viable and operating up to and beyond the border re-opening. This can be discussed with your Growth Advisor.
    Charitable Trusts, Incorporated Societies, Non-business entities, Local and Central Governments are ineligible.

What can the grant be spent on?

The Tourism Kick-start Fund can be used for some or all of the following operational activities:

  • Recruitment and wages for staff
  • Training
  • Operating expenditure (e.g. restocking, certification, WOF, accounting software)
  • Fixed overheads (e.g. office leases)
  • Marketing
  • Repairs and maintenance directly related to scaling up business operations.

The Tourism Kick-start Fund cannot be used for:

  • capital expenditure (e.g. purchasing computer hardware, vehicles, boats, planes)
  • any other situation where an actual, perceived or potential conflict of interest may exist, without prior written approval from Great South.
  • paying off debt your business has incurred.

How to apply?

Application Guide – Tourism Kick-start Fund.pdf
Kick-start Fund Q&As

An application form will be available on Great South’s website from 1 April 2022.

It is intended that payments are made to eligible businesses as soon as possible once applications and supporting documents have been received, assessed and processed. Exact processing and payment times depend on demand for the Fund.

Register your interest

Register your interest and get updates on these initiatives and funding applications by emailing with

  • Business name
  • Phone number
  • Business physical address(es)

For further information, check Great South website, the MBIE website or email