Federal Government’s $250m boost for regional tourism

The Federal Government has announced a $250 million package to boost tourism and tourism infrastructure in Australia’s regions.

The Regional Tourism Recovery Package will include two measures, a $50 million Recovery for Regional Tourism initiative to help businesses in regions highly dependent on international tourism and a further $200 million for an additional round of the Building Better Regions Fund.

“We want to make sure that our tourism regions are in the best possible shape on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Senator Birmingham said.

Australian Regional Tourism (ART) said the funding will “encourage the flow of visitors to regional destinations”.

“This new funding will provide a much needed boost to regional operators,” said ART Chair Coralie Bell.

“Tourism infrastructure is critical to regional areas being more accessible, competitive and attractive, the additional round of the BBRF will deliver projects to support this.”

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) also welcomed the additional funding for the tourism industry but said more needed to be done to support businesses which deliver international visitors to Australia.

“The package announced today will bring some desperately needed support to major, mostly internationally focused, tourism businesses across regional Australia but support is still needed to ensure the inbound tour operators (ITOs) who supply international visitors to these areas survive,” ATEC managing director Peter Shelley said.

“ITOs are essential to the export tourism supply chain and are a vital part of the fabric of our connection to the global tourism marketplace.

“Without ITOs many of these regional tourism businesses would have never had the level of international visitation that has helped them to build their product and if ITO businesses disappear, the long term viability of these regional tourism businesses is questionable too.

“We know many of our regional tourism supplier members will be very happy to see this funding, but there remains many gaps in the solution and many tourism businesses will still be looking for help.”

The nine regions eligible for the Recovery for Region Tourism Fund and Federal Government allocations are:

Australia’s South West (Western Australia) – up to $1.25 million

Gold Coast (Queensland) – up to $10 million

Kangaroo Island (South Australia) – up to $3.5 million

Lasseter and Alice Springs (Northern Territory) – up to $3.5 million

North Coast (New South Wales) – up to $1.25 million

Phillip Island region (Victoria) – up to $3.5 million

Tasmania – up to $13.5 million

Tropical North Queensland (Queensland) – up to $10 million

Whitsundays and Mackay region (Queensland) – up to $3.5 million