The Baird Government has today recognised the crucial role of the visitor economy in NSW, committing an additional $123.35 million in funding to help secure more major events and boost visitor expenditure by an estimated $481 million. This news has been welcomed by the peak national industry body, the Tourism & Transport Forum(TTF).
Chief Executive Margy Osmond said, “This announcement shows the NSW government understands the vital importance of tourism to this state. Already, in NSW tourism supports more than 267,000 jobs, 158,000 of these directly. This means nearly 1 in every 14 jobs in the state relies on a strong visitor economy.
“Importantly, the benefit is not confined to Sydney. Tourism provides employment opportunity up and down the state, in regional areas and in cities. Regional NSW stands to gain a great deal from this announcement, with a renewed focus on securing major events, conferences and sporting events in our regional centres.
“NSW has set a new national benchmark for the states and the commonwealth. This proactive investment in tourism will reap significant rewards for that state. We encourage others to follow the NSW example and properly invest in a true growth industry.”
“TTF is particularly pleased to see the focus on major events. Major events are a key driver in the decision to visit NSW from interstate or abroad. They act as the ‘cherry on top’ of an already world-class destination.
“Major events act as a great advertisement for the state. Just think how many people around the world tuned in to the Asia Cup and saw how much Sydney has to offer, how exciting it is to attend events like this in our city.
“They also attract high spending visitors who spread their money across the economy – on accommodation, attractions, transport, restaurants and retail.
“TTF also welcomes the government’s focus on business events. From December 2016, NSW will be home to one of the premier integrated convention and exhibition centres in the Asia Pacific – the International Convention Centre Sydney. The proper funding of Business Events Sydney will ensure the true economic value of that investment is realised.
“Tourism is a sound investment, and this announcement shows the Premier and Deputy Premier understand that. At a time when the mining investment boom is waning, when heavy manufacturing is continuing to decline, Australians are looking to industries that can deliver sustainable growth and jobs across the state, well into the future. The visitor economy is a natural fit and this investment confirms its importance to the state.
TTF will release a comprehensive agenda for tourism in NSW over the coming weeks.