The NSW state government has committed $51.5 million to a new package designed to encourage people back into the Sydney CBD and support jobs in the accommodation, entertainment and tourism sectors.
The package will also include $24 million for eligible live music venues, a support package to help the business events industry in Sydney and regional NSW, and a funding boost for tourism marketing.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new package recognised the Sydney CBD and workers in accommodation, live entertainment and tourism industries had been especially hard hit by COVID-19.
“With international, interstate and business travellers virtually non-existent for the past year, the CBD, and in particular the accommodation industry, has done it tough,” Berejiklian said.
“This new program will be in addition to our other stimulus measures such as the Dine & Discover scheme, and will provide a boost to accommodation providers in what is a traditionally very quiet period.”
The key components of the program are:
- $20 million for up to 200,000 CBD accommodation vouchers worth $100 each.
- $24 million to Destination NSW for a Live Music Support Package to be administered in partnership with Create NSW and the Office of the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner.
- $5.5 million for a Business Events Industry Support package to assist businesses in Greater Sydney and across NSW.
- $2 million for a Tourism Industry Marketing Support package through the ‘Love NSW’ campaign.
The $100 accommodation vouchers will be allocated on a first-in, first-served basis, which is expected to commence in June 2021 during the quieter winter period.
Accommodation providers will need to register for the program and operate within the City of Sydney to participate.
Dean Long, CEO of the Accommodation Association, said the new support package “could not have come at a better time”.
“Our hotels in these two major international gateways [international and corporate markets] currently have a forward booking rate of less than 10 per cent for the next 90 days and desperately need immediate support,” he said.
“These timely initiatives recognise that the Sydney accommodation market is currently the worst-performing city market in Australia with revenue declines of 67 per cent.
“We need to do whatever it takes, especially with the imminent end to JobKeeper, to get people back into the heart of Sydney, spending money and having fun.
“We look forward to these measures resonating with both domestic corporates and the domestic leisure market, building confidence in travel to Sydney, with city hotels significantly impacted by the continued closure of international borders.
“We also know that by getting Sydney’s heart beating again, there will be flow over benefits for the wider Sydney and NSW market.”
Long said that the association and its members continue to work closely with the NSW government and Destination NSW to ensure “the necessary support is directed to those initiatives and areas where the impact will be greatest”.
Featured image source: iStock/andresr