Record tourism and major events funding in NSW Budget

The peak industry body, Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has welcomed the announcement of record funding for tourism and major events in the NSW 2015-16 Budget.

The NSW Baird Government today unveiled a record allocation of $176 million for tourism, major events and business events over the next 12 months.

TTF CEO Margy Osmond said she was delighted to see the NSW Government deliver such significant funding to the visitor economy in the state.

“The NSW Government must be warmly congratulated for its strong support for tourism, major events and business events,” she said.

“This budget allocation raises the bar nationally for state funding of tourism and events and recognises the importance of the industry as a driver of economic growth and employment.

“Included in the budget is $93 million to secure major arts, entertainment and sports events, which demonstrates the NSW Government’s understanding of events being a strong catalyst for driving overnight visitor expenditure in the state.

“I am also delighted to see more than $50 million allocated to tourism marketing, which TTF has continued to highlight as a priority in supporting the visitor economy in this country.

“The budget also includes $9 million to target overseas visitors from priority international markets, as well as $9.7 million for international trade initiatives, including $1.1 million for the continuing promotion of StudyNSW to enhance the international student experience in NSW.

“Cultural tourism will also be a big winner out of the announcement of a $316 million budget allocation for arts and culture in NSW. This includes $30 million over four years for arts in Western Sydney, including $10 million over two years to relocate the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta, which will greatly boost tourism in Western Sydney.

“It is pleasing to see the NSW Government further support the expansion of the Art Gallery of NSW, with additional funding of $4 million allocated to progress the design and planning of the Gallery’s Sydney Modern project.

“Added to the $11 million over two years for the planning, design and approvals of the new Walsh Bay arts precinct, we are set to see the strengthening of Sydney’s arts offering and an appreciation of the economic benefits that cultural tourism can generate.

“The visitor economy initiatives announced in today’s budget puts the state on a strong trajectory to meet its Tourism 2020 target to double overnight visitor expenditure in NSW,” she said.