NSW launches hospitality vouchers, as vertical consumption returns to Sydney bars

The New South Wales government has launched a voucher scheme to get locals spending more at local hospitality and entertainment venues.

The Dine & Discover NSW scheme is worth $500 million and is designed to help sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent tourist drought.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the stimulus would “give businesses the boost they need after an incredibly tough 12 months and will encourage customers to get out and about safely”.

“These vouchers will help businesses keep their doors open and grow, while providing customers with much needed hip pocket relief,” she said, via 9 News.

Premier Berejiklian added that she hoped people would spend their Dine & Discover vouchers across NSW but particularly in the Sydney CBD.

“Many parts of NSW have been doing it tough, but especially the Sydney CBD,” she said. “So I hope people will bring their family and friends here and spend their vouchers to help businesses.”

To participate in the Dine & Discover NSW scheme, all eligible NSW residents must be over 18 and have a MyServiceNSW account, with each eligible recipient receiving two $25 vouchers for eating and drinking, and a further two $25 vouchers for entertainment and recreation.

It comes as vertical consumption at pubs returned to Sydney on Wednesday, 17 March, with Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet toasting with a Guinness at a pub in The Rocks, on St Patrick’s Day.

“I’m not sure if it’s the luck of the Irish or the good work of the citizens in NSW, but today we get to stand and have a beer… [bringing] some level of normality off the back of this pandemic,” Barilaro said, via The Sydney Morning Herald.

The state government is now eyeing caps on weddings and funerals and permitting the return of dancing, with Perrottet noting: “It doesn’t make much sense that you can dance in a wedding but you can’t dance on St Paddy’s day in a pub … so that’s next.”

“We want to get to a point where whatever setting you’re in, you can have the same activity,” he said.

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