Record tourism & transport funding to send NSW visitor economy soaring

The NSW Government’s record investment in the tourism and transport sectors in its 2017-18 Budget will bolster the State’s visitor economy and enhance NSW’s reputation as one of the world’s best places to live and visit.

“The Berijiklian Government’s $193 million investment in tourism and major events is an almost ten per cent increase on last year’s budget, and will ensure NSW cements its position as Australia’s number one visitor economy and place to visit,” Tourism & Transport Forum Chief Executive Margy Osmond said.

“Following the Federal Government’s recent budget cuts to the nation’s peak destination marketing body, Tourism Australia, NSW has realised it must do the heavy lifting to take full advantage of the current tourism boom and has allocated around 20 per cent more funding towards tourism and major events than in the Commonwealth’s budget.

“Prior to today’s budget, TTF called on the Berijiklian Government to deliver targeted investment to ensure the tourism sector can reach its potential as the next super-growth industry and a key driver of the NSW economy.

“Not only has the Government made a significant step towards this by delivering a record spend for the sector, but it is undertaking innovative reforms such as the establishment of six Destination Networks that will see regional NSW well positioned to increase its share of the domestic and international visitors flooding into the State each year.

“The $8.1 million for business events funding will also support NSW’s ability to further capatalise on its reputation as Australia’s business and major events capital, and grow local jobs and encourage domestic and international visitation and tourism opportunities.”

Ms Osmond said the 2017-18 Budget also continued the Government’s transport revolution with yet another record investment in public transport and transport infrastructure across Sydney and regional NSW.

“The Government’s commitment to asset recycling has delivered a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in a truly world-class public transport system that will create jobs, improve transport connectivity, reduce congestion and help to make Sydney and NSW not only better places to live, but to visit,” Ms Osmond said.

“The $12.1 billion public transport investment will allow the Government to continue to deliver transformative projects such as the Sydney Metro City and Southwest, and the CBD and South East Light Rail.

“Parramatta River is a unique asset that has traditionally been underutilised as a transport option. The $10 million towards new Parramatta to Sydney CBD ferries is a very welcome move that will make Sydney’s second CBD more accessible and reduce congestion in Western Sydney.

“While the $25 million for planning and early work for Parramatta Light Rail is a good start, TTF is disappointed the NSW Government has missed an opportunity to commit to Stage 2 of the project, linking Camellia to Strathfield via Sydney Olympic Park.

“This critical link is needed to ensure that Sydney Olympic Park is able to reach its full potential as the heart of Western Sydney and a world-class entertainment and employment precinct, and to drive jobs and housing growth into the future.

“Regional tourism is one of the biggest potential growth markets for NSW and the Government’s investment in regional roads and in securing a new fleet of regional XPT trains will go a long way towards encouraging visitors to leave the city and explore some of our world-class regional destinations such as the North Coast, Southern Highlands, Broken Hill and the Blue Mountains.”