The Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) has described a $35 million cut to funding for tourism promotion announced in today’s State budget as highly disappointing and puts the State at risk of losing momentum, in an increasingly competitive domestic market for the tourism dollar.
TTF Chief Executive Margy Osmond said that she understood the need for NSW to tighten its belt given the softening of the property market and its impact on economic growth, but cuts to an industry which has continued to grow its contribution to the State were a false economy.
“It’s disheartening and short-sighted that NSW’s tourism industry which is the envy of the other states has had to bear some of the burden of the necessary fiscal restraint,” Ms Osmond said.
“The competition between states for the tourism dollar – both from International and Domestic visitors – is fierce and in an environment where the state’s main competitors Victoria and Queensland are either maintaining or increasing their investment in destination marketing, the decrease in funding for Destination NSW puts it at a distinct disadvantage.
“While the numbers and yield continue to grow NSW can’t afford to be complacent or take it’s foot of the gas otherwise the State risks falling behind the competitors and losing the mantle of Australia’s number one tourism state.”
Ms Osmond said the decrease in funding for Destination NSW would also have an impact on business events attraction which is concerning given the known economic benefits of attracting international conventions and exhibitions and the high yielding business traveller.
“NSW has only recently opened a fabulous new state of the art convention centre at Darling Harbour and funding is crucial in continuing to fill it year in year out.
“There are a number of hotel developments in the pipeline and the convention market will be critical in ensuring the success of these new ventures.
We are also in the process of building new stadiums and facilities and funding is crucial to fill these venues year in and year out.”
For further information please contact TTF Media and Communications Manager Anna Wallin on 0408 832 999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org