NSW Budget to ramp up state’s tourism

NSW Budget to ramp up state’s tourism

NSW tourism, hospitality and business events sectors are set to score a nice, big boost from the recent State Budget.

The NSW Budget claims it will implement funding initiatives to support metro and regional tourism, and the industry has welcomed the news.

“The Berijiklian Government’s $193 million investment in tourism and major events is an almost 10 per cent increase on last year’s budget, and will ensure NSW cements its position as Australia’s number one visitor economy and place to visit,” Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) Chief Executive Margy Osmond said.

Australia’s tourism accommodation body, Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) said the NSW Government’s support for the industry came at a critical time in the tourism cycle, with the new International Convention Centre recently opened and over 40 hotels under development.

“We commend the NSW Government on its strong investment in Destination NSW, with a commitment of $192.8 million in the NSW Government’s 2017-18 Budget, a substantial increase of 10.3 per cent on the 2016-17 allocation,” said TAA CEO Carol Giuseppi.

“The Government’s decision to invest $244 million in doubling the size of the Art Gallery of NSW will create the ‘Sydney Modern’, and will ensure that Sydney remains at the forefront of innovation in cultural tourism.

“TAA commends the Government’s continued four-year investment of $43 million to support and grow regional tourism.

“In particular, the funding and establishment of six Regional Destination Networks across NSW is an urgent priority to allow for the delivery of Destination Management Plans.

“The Government’s Regional Tourism Fund – consisting of the Regional Cooperative Tourism Marketing Program and the Regional Tourism Product Development Program – will help create new reasons to visit regional centres and will enable more effective marketing of attractions in these regions.

“This will be complemented by $300 million funded by Restart NSW to the Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund (RGETF). This fund will stimulate regional visitation by investing in tourism infrastructure, increasing tourism capacity and improving visitor accessibility.

“The tourism accommodation sector is playing a major role in the industry’s renaissance in NSW with 40 hotels and 8,000 rooms in the development pipeline introducing luxury new 5-star hotels along with boutique, mid-scale and economy hotels, while many existing hotels are taking the opportunity to upgrade their properties and services.

“The new and upgraded properties are helping transform the visitor economy across the State.”

Osmond agreed that investment in regional tourism will benefit the state economy.

“Regional tourism is one of the biggest potential growth markets for NSW,” she added.

“And the Government’s investment in regional roads and in securing a new fleet of regional XPT trains will go a long way towards encouraging visitors to leave the city and explore some of our world-class regional destinations such as the North Coast, Southern Highlands, Broken Hill and the Blue Mountains.”

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