The maintenance of funding for Destination New South Wales in today’s state budget shows the government understands the value of tourism to the state’s economy and backs up its investments in tourism infrastructure, according to peak national industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).
The 2014/15 budget for Destination New South Wales will be $130.8 million, including $124.8 million in government funding, on par with last year.
TTF Chief Executive Ken Morrison said the funding will help grow the state’s economy.
“The government’s focus on the visitor economy is working and today’s budget maintains its investment in Destination New South Wales,” Mr Morrison said.
“Consistent funding for Destination New South Wales allows the agency to continue to market the state at home and abroad and continue to develop its outstanding events calendar.
“This backs up the government’s $110 million Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund and its investment in the International Convention Centre Sydney, now under construction at Darling Harbour.
“It will allow New South Wales to retain the current momentum which has seen growth in domestic and international visitor numbers, nights and spending at rates well above the national average, which underscores that investing in the visitor economy is the right strategy for the state.
“New South Wales will need to do this and more to reach the Tourism 2020 target of doubling overnight visitor expenditure to $36.7 billion, so it’s important to consider the benefits of additional investment in tourism marketing and events.
“Tourism already directly employs 158,000 people across New South Wales and supports a further 109,000 jobs, contributing a total of $28.4 billion to gross state product.
“Additional funding could accelerate growth in the visitor economy and allow tourism to fulfil its potential as an economic development strategy for New South Wales, providing even more job and business opportunities across the state.”