The news that more than 1.4 million people attended Vivid Sydney shows that tourism is an economic development strategy for New South Wales and deserves support in tomorrow’s state budget, according to peak national industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).
Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism and Major Events Andrew Stoner has announced that Vivid Sydney 2014 attracted a record 1.43 million people, including almost 20,000 international visitors on Vivid Sydney travel packages.
TTF Chief Executive Ken Morrison said the festival is a major drawcard.
“Vivid Sydney is a must-see event that delivers significant benefits to the New South Wales visitor economy, supporting jobs and businesses across the state,” Mr Morrison said.
“Full credit must go to Destination New South Wales, which first created and now owns and manages the event, for its success in growing attendance by almost 80 per cent on last year.
“On top of that, having more than 19,500 international visitors come on special Vivid Sydney travel packages is a tremendous achievement that is 74 per cent higher than last year.
“TTF’s latest report, Backing Major Events, which features research by Repucom, highlights the importance of major events as drivers of visitation and shows that Australians support governments getting behind the development and staging of major events.
“With the state budget being handed down tomorrow, we are calling on the NSW government to commit to additional funding for Destination NSW, which plays a critical role in marketing the state, as well as developing and managing the events calendar.
“Tourism creates jobs and economic activity across NSW, delivering $26.9 billion in Gross State Product in 2012-13 and supporting 257,000 jobs statewide.
“In addition, tourism has been identified as one of Australia’s five super-growth sectors with the potential to drive sustainable economic development and collectively add $250 billion to the economy over the next 20 years given the proper support.
“We are calling on the NSW government to back its $110 million Regional Tourism Investment Fund with support for Destination NSW as the sector continues to work towards the Tourism 2020 target of doubling overnight visitor expenditure in NSW to $36.7 billion.”