The state government’s announcement of a $110 million Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund is a boost for the sector, which should be backed up by additional funding for marketing and events in the 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 the fund in Queanbeyan this morning, ahead of next week’s state budget.
TTF Chief Executive Ken Morrison said the fund will facilitate investment in tourism infrastructure.
“This is a vote of confidence in tourism as an economic development strategy for New South Wales,” Mr Morrison said.
“The fund will provide a great opportunity for new and exciting projects that will drive visitation to destinations across the state by both domestic and international visitors.
“Having Infrastructure NSW involved in the approval process will ensure that sufficient rigour is applied and that projects are selected for their economic driver potential.
“We look forward to working with the NSW government to ensure this funding is directed to priority projects that will deliver the best outcomes for tourism and maximise the return on investment.”
Mr Morrison said it would make sense for next week’s state budget to support the infrastructure investment through marketing and events funding.
“Backing up the fund announced today with additional funding for marketing and events will help grow the visitor economy and help New South Wales reach its Tourism 2020 target of doubling overnight visitor expenditure to $36.7 billion,” Mr Morrison said.
“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.
“The outstanding success of Vivid Sydney 2014 clearly shows the value of major events and the need to support Destination NSW, which conceived and developed Vivid into the must-see event it has become.
“We would urge the New South Wales government to follow this welcome investment with funding to allow Destination NSW to continue to market the state at home and abroad and to continue to develop its outstanding events calendar.”