It was great to represent Minister Stuart Ayres at the Tourism Training Awards to celebrate the achievements of those in our tourism, training and hospitality sectors in what has been an extremely difficult few years for this industry.

But we are now on the cusp on a new dawn. As NSW residents continue to hit key vaccination milestones, we’ve been able to ease restrictions and re-open our State.
Now, our focus must shift to getting the economy moving again, which means getting people back to work and visitors back to NSW.
The NSW Government is supporting this with a $530 million Tourism and Events Recovery Package as part of its Economic Recovery Strategy.
The package includes.

The package includes support for accommodation, aviation, business events, major events and festivals, hospitality, and regional tourism.

$250 million to expand the Stay & Rediscover scheme, providing all NSW adults with a $50 voucher to redeem at accommodation premises across NSW. This scheme will commence in March 2022
$150 million to support the recovery of major event activity across the state, including $50 million for a Regional Events Package
$60 million for an Aviation Attraction Fund
$6 million to bring business events back to the city
$50 million for the CBDs Revitalisation Program to support events and activations in CBDs across Greater Sydney and surrounds
An Event Saver Fund to provide immediate support to organisers should events be cancelled or disrupted by any Public Health Orders the 2021-22 summer
$25 million for the Festivals Relaunch package, and
$10 million for a Recovery Marketing Campaign, including an extension of the successful Road Trips campaign launched in 2020.

We’ve also committed an additional $250 million to the Dine & Discover initiative, with two additional $25 Dine & Discover vouchers for NSW residents over 18 years, which can be used until June 2022.

Sydney CBD businesses will also benefit from a new $50 million stimulus program, announced in June 2021, which will offer 500,000 NSW residents four $25 vouchers for dining and entertainment experiences in the Sydney CBD on Fridays.

These targeted support initiatives are about bringing visitors back, boosting business and serving up the best of what NSW has to offer to the world.
With that said, we are expecting a very busy holiday period, especially in regional NSW.

For example, Byron Bay is expecting more than one million visitors before Christmas, with accommodation fully booked until Easter.

Like many other sectors, tourism and hospitality businesses are reporting a worker shortage, which is why Tourism Training Australia plays such an important role in training up the workforce we need to grow the visitor economy and ultimately, to position Sydney and NSW as the premier visitor economy of the Asia Pacific.

On behalf of the NSW Government, I thanked those in the tourism industry for all that they do to train our next generation of tourism and hospitality workers.  While it has been an incredibly challenging period, your efforts do not go unrecognised and will be particularly paramount as we enter this new and exciting chapter.