Among the events that received first-round funding was the Middle-Earth Halfling Marathon, held at the Hobbiton Movie Set. Photo / Provided
A total of 34 events in the Waikato, Rotorua, Taupō and Ruapehu regions will receive nearly $3 million in funding from the government’s Thermal Explorer Regional Events Fund.
The fund was set up by the Department for Business, Innovation and Jobs to support and provide new domestic tour opportunities to the events and tourism sectors which have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19.
Regional tourism organizations across the country have been appointed as facilitators of the fund.
Last year’s round of funding supported 15 events in the region with $1.6 million, while the latest allocation awards $1.3 million to 19 events.
The events receiving financial support are a mix of new and existing events in various areas of interest, including business, sports, fitness, running, cars, music and culture.
In total, the 34 events are expected to attract more than 300,000 people, two-thirds of whom are visitors from outside each host region. Some events have three-year funding agreements while others have received a one-year investment to accelerate their development.
Among the events that received first-round funding was the Middle-Earth Halfling Marathon, held at the Hobbiton Movie Set in late April this year.
This inaugural event attracted 2,500 people, including 1,000 competitors, some of whom were in costume. They ran or walked one of two distances around the picturesque village of Hobbiton, either the halfling (21.1 km) or the eleventh (11.1 km).
Middle-Earth Halfling Marathon event director Matt Reilly of The Events Agency said funding from Thermal Explorer got the event off the ground.
“The support has given us the necessary seed funding so that we can confidently move forward with the development of what has proven to be a successful event in its first year and will only grow in the years to come. coming.
“We’re already out there inviting runners and their supporters to mark their calendars for next year’s Halfling Middle-earth Marathon.”
Other events that have secured funding include the New Zealand Fitness Festival and the Sika Show hunting and outdoor exhibition, both scheduled for Mystery Creek in October, the Waitomo Trail Run in November and the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival in February and March next year.
The Thermal Explorer Event investment group that drives the fund is made up of eight members and Hamilton & Waikato Tourism is the lead entity.
Hamilton & Waikato Tourism chief executive Nicola Greenwell said regions and event organizers are “tremendously excited” about the opportunities made possible by the funding.
“The support enables funded events to be developed, positioned and marketed to be or become an iconic or anchor event for the host region, exponentially scaling each event, attracting out-of-region visitors, encouraging economic benefits and building capacity in our events sector.”
Greenwell says the focus will now be on developing event business capabilities in Thermal Explorer regions.
“The continued development of our events sector will best position the events held in our regions to be extraordinarily successful and sought after, not only by our local communities, but also by visitors to each of our regions.
“We have already held well-attended capacity-building workshops and webinars and are expanding these with other development initiatives.”
For more information on the Thermal Explorer Regional Events Fund and to see the full list of funding recipients, visit the Hamilton & Waikato Tourism website.