Australia’s peak tourism accommodation body, Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA), welcomed the funding initiatives to support metro and regional tourism, announced in today’s NSW Budget.
TAA CEO Carol Giuseppi 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.
“Key to the continued growth of the visitor economy is the investment in Destination NSW, which supports metro and regional tourism, major events and tourism events,” said Ms Giuseppi. “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% on the 2016-17 allocation.
“This increased level of investment has been instrumental in improving the sustainability of accommodation investment and is particularly important in capitalising on the government’s ground-breaking investment in the International Convention Centre, sustaining investment in a strong events calendar, and driving regional tourism growth.
“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. Importantly government has also made clear its commitment to establishing the Regional Conferencing unit, recognising the importance of business events in providing high yielding, mid-week business for regional destinations.
“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.”