11 June 2008

Australia urges NSW tourism to pick up the pace

The Australian Government has announced it will give AUD$40,000 to the New South Wales Government in an attempt to boost its tourism numbers. The Tourism Minister, Matt Brown, has given NSW three years to use the funding to remarket the “charms of Sydney”, reports the Age.

According to a commissioned report from John O’Neill, Chief Executive of Australian Rugby Union, the seven-year lag in NSW tourism is holding back opportunities for tourism Australia-wide.

A three month consultation will take place to decide how the new funds will be spent.  The consultation will take into account rising fuel costs and new tourism taxes.  It is also likely to create of an advisory body, and provide extra funding needed for NSW regional areas and marketing strategies to secure growing markets of people travelling to Australia, such as India and China, says the Daily Telegraph. 

O’Neil claims the lag in NSW tourism is a result of holiday-makers’ changing interests.  Driving interstate has now largely been replaced by flying, and NSW residents prefer to travel interstate or internationally, rather than visiting regional NSW.  The report suggests the Government creates a permanent body to advise the Tourism Minister, lowers the cost of transport around regional NSW, and creates an international airport at Newcastle.

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