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NSW budget is generous on tourism and major events

June 21, 2013 DESTINATION, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59The New South Wales Budget for the 2013/14 financial year has allocated AUD 130 million to growing the state’s tourism, major events and business events in order to help boost the NSW economy.

This includes funding from the NSW Government for Destination NSW to support tourism, major events and business events of AUD 124.238 million.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris said AUD 56 million had been allocated to securing major events for NSW across arts, culture, lifestyle and sports, “giving visitors and locals alike experiences that cater for a wide range of tastes.

“These include unique and special events such as Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, the Sydney International Art Series and Australian Premiere Musicals such as Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom.

“Sporting events are also on the calendar including, the British and Irish Lions tour, Bledisloe Cup, the National Rugby League Grand Final, the Australian Open of Surfing, the Port Macquarie Ironman Series and many others.”

General Manager of the Tourism Industry Council NSW, Mr Andrew Jefferies, said the Budget continued the necessary steps to build for the future.250x250px

Jefferies said the third Budget of the O’Farrell Government, handed down by Treasurer Mike Baird, announced an increase in forecast economic growth to 2.5% over the coming year and a reduced deficit to AUD 329 Million.  Containing a range of measured and responsible steps that will build for the future, it contained three key objectives:

  • Ensuring that expenditure did not exceed revenue;
  • Reduces taxation on jobs by increasing the payroll tax threshold;
  • Delivers AUD 60 Billion to improve new and existing infrastructure. 

Souris said the Budget had provided for AUD 46 million to grow the overnight visitor economy in regional NSW and Sydney and would support tourism, media and retail programs, including funding support for Business Events Sydney.

“This will include AUD 11 million for international market development activities, with emphasis on social media campaigns and digital marketing innovation to generate sales leads for the NSW tourism industry.

“Ensuring we continue our appeal to Asian visitors who are an important market for NSW tourism, we will also continue to develop our Asian strategy. Last year, tourism from China alone brought in AUD 1.2 billion to the NSW economy and we are endeavouring to increase this yet again.

“In 2013-14 we will invest almost AUD 20 million in regional NSW tourism and events. Through the Regional Visitor Economy Fund, tourism operators can access an additional AUD 2 million in funding to support the development of new tourist attractions and events, as well as marketing.

“Our investment in Regional tourism has increased and remains a firm commitment.  Regional NSW plays a critical role in driving overnight visitors, and last year delivered a massive 73 million nights of accommodation and AUD 9.3 billion in tourism expenditure.

“Regional events are also an important contributor to Regional tourism.  Events such as the Deniliquin Ute Muster, the Tamworth Country Music Festival, Bathurst 1000 and World Rally Australia in Coffs Harbour attract visitors from across the State, Australia and overseas, and give visitors a unique perspective on some of NSW’s rich network of Regional towns.

“The budget also supports the implementation of the Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan, the NSW Government’s response to the Visitor Economy Taskforce Report.  Backed by a whole-of-Government approach to strengthen our visitor leadership position, progress is already being made and outcomes will see major changes in the renewal and revitalisation of destinations, strategies to improve the visitor experience and increase visitor spend, and innovations to make NSW more competitive.”

“Last year, NSW welcomed 27.7 million overnight visitors, generating AUD 20.3 billion for the State.  With the 2013/14 budget we will continue to grow tourism and see the real economic benefits from our investments delivered by Destination NSW, the tourism and major events agency.

“Tourism accounts for 159,000 jobs in NSW, with 68,400 in regional areas. Our goal is clear – to double overnight expenditure by 2020 boosting jobs and the general economy.  This budget and our Visitor Economy Action Plan sets us on a solid path to achieve this,” Souris said.

Jefferies said the Tourism Industry Council NSW also welcomed the Budget’s announcement of the reduction in payroll tax burden for many of the tourism industry’s small businesses.

“By increasing the payroll tax threshold from AUD 689,000 to AUD 750,000 per annum, around 1,300 fewer businesses will need to pay this tax, with the remainder receiving an average tax cut of around AUD 3000 per annum”, Jefferies said.

“New infrastructure delivery is also vital to the tourism sector in New South Wales and the Council welcomes the headline figure of AUD 60 Billion that has been partially funded from the sale and long term lease arrangements of Port Botany and Port Kembla.  These new funds will deliver upgrades to some of our major regional highways and motorways such the Princes Highway on the South Coast, the Pacific Highway duplication on the North Coast, local roads on the Central Coast and funds towards the commencement of the WestConnex motorway in Sydney”.

“The Council believes this budget is one that is measured and responsible and builds for future growth and demand”.

Written by : Peter Needham

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