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NSW Government to boost tourism and events spending

NSW Government to boost tourism and events spending
February 16, 2015

NSW Premier Mike Baird has committed an additional $123.35 million to secure more major events and boost visitor expenditure by an estimated $481 million.

This additional $123.35 million represents a 25% budget rise and brings the NSW's total tourism and major events spend to over $643 million over four years.

The extra funding includes an additional $73.25 million with the aime of making Sydney into Australia’s number one destination for major events, including $22 million for more events in Western Sydney; $40.6 million more to grow regional tourism; and, $9.5 million more to target overseas visitors from our priority international markets.

The move has been applauded by tourism and events industry bodies with Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) saying the spend is recognition of the power of tourism to grow jobs and income for the state.

TAA acting Chief Executive Carol Giuseppi explained “it has taken a long time for Governments to understand the substantial impact that events, conferences and exhibitions can deliver to the economy.

“The impact of the recent Asian Football Cup on cities such as Sydney and Newcastle was substantial, while the latest research from Tourism Research Australia shows that business events visitors make the highest contribution to overnight visitor expenditure.

“The NSW Government demonstrated their commitment to the tourism sector emphatically with the decision to rebuild Sydney’s convention and exhibition centre, and they will now support that with extra funds to bid for substantial tourist, sporting and business events.

“The new investment will particularly benefit Western Sydney, which now has world-class venues and new or expanded hotels to support the hosting of conferences and events.

“We are encouraged by the commitment to attract more events and conferences to regional NSW, because while Sydney’s hotel and tourism venues have performed strongly in recent years, many areas in regional NSW are in need of considerable stimulus.

“We look forward to tourism industry involvement in implementing the regional business events strategy.”

Tourism lobby group the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) welcomed the initiative with Chief Executive Margy Osmond stating “this announcement shows the NSW government understands the vital importance of tourism to this state. “

“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.”

Images show Vivid Sydney (top) and the Tamworth Country Music Festival (below).



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