Hamilton and Waikato Tourism has been given a vote of confidence by the region's councils, by the way of a funding boost.

The local tourism organisation, which markets Waikato tourism attractions both domestically and internationally, will receive $1,215,000 annually from its seven council partners, up from $810,000.

Hamilton and Waikato Tourism chief executive Kiri Goulter said the funding showed the region's commitment to tourism, "which currently brings in $1b of visitor expenditure each year – the fifth highest in New Zealand".

Goulter said while Waikato's tourism industry was performing well, there was plenty more opportunity.

"The city and region has an exciting future ahead with iconic attractions such as Waitomo, Hobbiton Movie Set, Raglan and Hamilton Gardens as well as emerging new products and developments including Hamilton city's river plan, high performance sport, cycleways and developing Hamilton as a business events hub.

"Receiving the increased funding will allow us to increase our domestic marketing and business events activities as well as broaden our scope into destination management, in turn creating great economic benefit for our communities."

The organisation, which was created in July 2011, operates on a public/private partnership model with the industry contributing over $400,000, alongside the region's councils each year to marketing activities which benefit the wider region.

The Waikato tourism industry generates 6 million visitor nights each year and creates over 7,700 full-time jobs.

Its seven council partners are Hamilton City, Waikato, Waipa, Matamata Piako, Waitomo, Otorohanga and South Waikato Districts.

- Stuff

Image: The head of Hamilton and Waikato Tourism, Kiri Goulter


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