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Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey welcomes a new fund to support tourism infrastructure as part of a $2.1 billion investment in public infrastructure.

The public infrastructure package will see investment into tourism, education, transport and housing as part of Government’s commitment towards a more productive economy.

“We know that tourism supports a higher proportion of Waimakariri district residents’ jobs than anywhere else in New Zealand, with 18.3 percent of residents’ jobs supported by tourism. Alongside this is increased growth in international and domestic expenditure in North Canterbury. This is good news but it is equally important that we support tourism infrastructure in order to meet these increased numbers,” Doocey said.

The new fund, amounting to $12 million over four years, would help smaller communities deal with the increase in tourist numbers, and in particular manage freedom campers, Doocey said.

Doocey, who last year brought out Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism Jacqui Dean to North Canterbury to speak to private tourism operators across the sectors of outdoor/adventure tourism, wine tours and agricultural/farm stays, said statistics confirmed North Canterbury as a significant tourist destination.

“Figures from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show, over the year to March 2015, international tourists spent $100 million and domestic tourists spent $260 million in North Canterbury,” Doocey said.

“This additional funding could help fund smaller infrastructure needs in terms of extra facilities such as restrooms and carparks to meet increased demand as our tourism sector continues to grow.”

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