The ACT Budget’s focus on infrastructure and international airline access, matched with sustained funding for tourism marketing and events is good news for a healthy visitor economy in the ACT, according to peak industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).
The 2014-15 Australian Capital Territory budget allocates $2.5 billion to infrastructure projects over four years. This includes priorities for the visitor economy such as the progression of the Australia Forum convention centre to an investment ready stage and design development around the City to the Lake project.
TTF Chief Executive Ken Morrison said the Territory’s commitment to demand driving infrastructure, air access and marketing funding will help attract more visitors to the ACT.
“The industry is pleased to see a $1.5 million commitment to the Australian Forum convention centre project which will improve Canberra’s attractiveness as a business events destination in key international markets,” said Mr Morrison
“It’s also encouraging to see an additional $600,000 allocated towards the Cooperative Airline Stimulus funding which will help bring forward plans for international flights to Canberra, as well as supporting cooperative marketing with airlines.
“Canberra is one of very few national capitals lacking international flights and TTF has long been supportive of the ACT’s ambition to secure international services.
“Other highlights of the 2014-15 ACT budget for the visitor economy include the $800,000 development of Brand Canberra, $750,000 to expand tourism growth partnerships and $150,000 to assist public sector employees transition to the private sector, ensuring critical human and financial capital remains in the Territory.
“Tourism is an economic development strategy for the ACT and for Australia and money invested in infrastructure, marketing and events delivers a great return, supporting jobs and businesses throughout the territory.
“The ACT government’s Tourism 2020 goal of growing overnight visitor expenditure will only be achievable with consistent funding that allows VisitCanberra to commit to longer-term cooperative marketing partnerships and to continue to develop its events calendar.