NSW budget boost for tourism and hospitality

NSW tourism and hospitality industries have welcomed the Baird Government budget after $176 million was committed towards tourism promotion, major event funding and infrastructure development.

Restaurant and Catering Australia CEO John Hart said, “Tourism and hospitality is a $24.7 billion industry in NSW. We know that for every dollar spent in the sector, a further 90 cents is generated elsewhere in the economy. It makes good economic sense to support this sector.”

“Major events will boost sector confidence, drive vitilisation and generate economic activity in metropolitan and regional NSW,” he said.

According to Hart, this funding puts NSW well on its way to achieving its target of doubling overnight visitor expenditure to $36.7 billion as outlined in Tourism 2020, a national strategy to enhance the growth and competitiveness of Australia’s tourism industry.

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Hart said the recent Vivid festival in Sydney was a perfect example of how major events can deliver significant economic benefits to small business at a normally quieter time of year with restaurants recording a 60% increase in turnover during the 18-day festival.

“The economic impact of this event is a clear demonstration of why the government needs to support the state’s major events calendar.”

While this reform is a step in the right direction, Hart advised that further reform is needed urgently in relation to product development, industry training and labour shortages in the tourism industry.