Strong support for tourism and business events in 2015 NSW Budget, with regional NSW a major winner – TAA
Australia’s peak accommodation body, Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA), has welcomed the NSW Government’s commitment of over $640 million to the tourism and hospitality sector in the State Budget announced today.
TAA said that support for the regional tourism and business events sectors was particularly important as there has been no growth in real terms in overnight stays in accommodation in regional NSW over the past 7 – 10 years.
The NSW Budget delivered an increase of over 25% ($127.6 million) in funding of the Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan over four years, comprising:
- $75.9 million investment to make Sydney the premier destination for major events, including $22.6 million for more events in Western Sydney
- $41.9 million more to grow regional tourism; and
- $9.8 million to target overseas visitors from priority international markets
In addition, a $110 million Regional Tourism Infrastructure investment was confirmed.
“This budget has come at a critical time to reinvigorate visitation to regional NSW”, said
TAA Acting CEO, Carol Giuseppi.
“While the latest International Visitor Survey for 2014 showed strong inbound growth to Sydney, many regional areas not only missed out but also experienced falls in business travel and business-related events.
“Regional areas have been set back further in the past few years as a result of downturns in mining, and the effects of natural disasters such as drought, bushfires and floods.
“The priority must be for a new model for regional tourism in NSW. Regional tourism bodies require a certainty and consistency of funding if they are to stimulate demand for visitors to their region and create an environment for visitor economy infrastructure development.
“Now that the Budget is secured we look forward to the release of the much awaited regional business events strategy by Destination NSW. Tourism Research Australia highlighted that business events visitors make the highest contribution to overnight visitor expenditure. This investment is pivotal to attracting more business events – conferences, meetings, exhibitions – to regional centres across NSW during the trough midweek periods.”
The tourism and events sector is worth $33 billion to the NSW economy and is responsible for 158,000 direct jobs, including 67,900 in regional NSW.