PGF supports new visitor experience centres on the West Coast

Published: 23 June, 2020

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The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing nearly $18 million in a region wide collaboration to connect the area’s tourist attractions located in Haast, Hokitika, Greymouth and Westport.

Haast Visitor Centre

Haast Visitor Centre will be the first of the four digital experience centres to be completed as part of the project.

The Te Ara Pounamu pathways project will receive $17.87 million to support the roll out of state-of-the-art innovative digital technology to tell the West Coast’s unique cultural and historical stories, for the first time, to Aotearoa New Zealand and the world.

Four new ‘visitor experience centres’ in separate locations across the West Coast will support the region’s tourism operators, boost sustainable employment, and provide upskilling opportunities for local people.

This is just one of a number of projects in the West Coast that we are working on together to help support job creation and a sustainable tourism industry.

Over 50 jobs will be created through the construction, management and operation of the hubs.

We know that by investing in the West Coast tourism sector now, the region will be in a strong position, not only to tap into the domestic tourism market, but also be ready for when international visitors return.

By working across the region’s councils and with local iwi, this initiative will encourage visitors to spend more, travel further, and stay longer in the region.

The digital nature of the hubs also ensures that content can be continually adjusted according to the needs of the tourism sector.

The first hub will start to be built in Haast later this year, with all four expected to be completed by 2023.

This investment will boost the West Coast region by diversifying its economic reliance on mining and agriculture, and put the region in a strong position over the long-term to capitalise on future tourism.

Pōwhiri group at Arahura Marae, Hokitika for the Pounamu Pathway announcement.

Pōwhiri group at Arahura Marae, Hokitika for the Pounamu Pathway announcement that will showcase the region's history and boost West Coast tourism.