The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has welcomed the NSW Budget as a bar-setting example of the economic value of investing in the visitor economy and public transport.
The NSW Budget continues the State’s strong investment in Australia’s leading visitor economy with $175 million allocated in 2016-17 for tourism and events, as well as a solid list of visitor infrastructure investments in both Sydney and Regional NSW.
“NSW is jealously guarding its crown as the nation’s largest visitor economy with another strong investment in the sector in this Budget. It’s a fantastic competitive fervour that is growing between the States and Territories that are increasingly recognising the importance of the visitor economy to their economies,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.
“TTF has been a vocal advocate of the need for the NSW Government to continue to back the visitor economy and it is marvellous to see that our message has been received with open arms.
“Investing in the destination marketing of Sydney and NSW to overseas visitors is a win-win for the State and the country. Sydney’s image is a critical lure for international visitors to commit to visit Australia but who also then travel onto other cities and regions of Australia.
“Working to further diversify and renew the visitor experience through investment in our natural and cultural infrastructure is very welcome, including funding for the Sydney Opera House Stage 1 Renewal and Walsh Bay Arts Precinct redevelopment. TTF provided a compelling case in its Budget submission for funding these projects, and we are pleased to see the NSW Government has listened.”
Ms Osmond said the Baird Government’s ambitious $41.5 billion major capital works program is pushing Sydney’s public transport revolution ahead, with $2.7 billion for the North West Metro and expansion of the Sydney Metro through the CBD and South West and $277 million allocated for light rail projects in Western Sydney, Newcastle and Sydney CBD.
“International visitors are increasingly putting a premium on travelling to cities with efficient and accessible public transport networks. Sydney will be alongside some of the greatest cities in the world who are known for their metro train systems such as New York, Paris and London.
“The substantial investments in new ferries, trains and buses is great news for public transport commuters and visitors alike. Even more commuters are set to experience world-class comfort on their way to work and play, and what is a visit to Sydney without an iconic ferry ride across the harbour to the Zoo or Manly?
“With more international visitors striking out on their own in hire-vehicles the improvements to NSW’s regional road network is an important investment that will improve accessibility to our key regional tourism areas and improve road safety.”