The region’s peak business organisation, Business Hunter has welcomed the Premier’s announcement that that all NSW adults will receive a fifty-dollar Stay and Rediscover voucher to spend on accommodation across the state.
“Business Hunter has been telling Government since the start of the pandemic that different industries were being impacted in different ways, but our tourism, hospitality and events sector has been the hardest hit,” said Business Hunter CEO, Bob Hawes.
“What is particularly pleasing is this package has elements which recognise that all of NSW has a part to play in the economic recovery through re-engagement of regional events and tourism.
“Business Hunter will also be advocating for the “satellite CBD revitalisation inclusion” in the package to be extended to major regional CBDs including Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Maitland– not just Greater Sydney outer metro cities.
“The package also supports businesses through the Event Saver Fund which allows for immediate financial support for organisers of events that are disrupted or cancelled due to a Public Health Order this summer. This will allow confidence in investment and employment without a fear of being left footing a huge bill.
“The exciting part about this support package is that it will actually encourage more business investment and drives a collaborative partnership between business and Government in securing events and once again making regional NSW a strong attraction for visitors across the Asia Pacific region for both business and leisure travel.
“A united approach using insight from stakeholders on the ground will be crucial to ensuring this package delivers stimulus for all of NSW.
“What is crucial is the targeted approach the Government takes from here in deciding where the money is spent – this needs to be on a needs-based approach to ensure maximum return on investment.
“We were therefore pleased to hear this morning that the NSW Government’s has also announced a $60 million route attraction package to drive more air traffic into NSW. Business Hunter believes that the Government should seek to grow the pie for interstate and international tourist attraction across the state.
“We’ve been working closely with the Newcastle Airport team to put a proposal to the former Treasurer, now Premier, regarding attracting new routes into our region.”
“Our expectation is that Newcastle Airport, and others in regional NSW, will have the ability to access this $60million Aviation Attraction Fund to bring more airlines and more visitors into regional NSW,” Mr Hawes said.
“We know increased air connectivity has an immediate and significant flow-on benefit for regional economies. With long-haul international flights into Newcastle now only 24 months away, the opportunities for the state are boundless, particularly given we share road and freight connections with Western, North Western and Northern NSW.”
“We’re certainly very grateful to the NSW Government for their foresight and support in unlocking more of the state to international and interstate air travel,” Mr Hawes said.