By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
An ACT Government announcement that $8.8 million will be allocated to the territory’s tourism sector has been welcomed by the Australian Hotels Association ACT (AHA ACT).
ACT’s chief minister Andrew Barr, MLA, and the minister for arts Chris Bourke, announced last week that the ACT Government will commit $8.8 million to the capital territory’s tourism sector in the 2016/2017 ACT Budget.
$7.3 million will go towards attracting both domestic and international visitors to Canberra – targeting Sydney and greater New South Wales residents, and international travellers from key markets such as New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia. The remaining $1.5 million will be put towards growing annual events, such as the Enlighten and Canberra Day festivals.
Jo Broad, branch general manager of AHA ACT, welcomed the increased spending on tourism from the government as a move that would boost the territory’s economy.
"We are pleased that the ACT Government sees the importance of tourism growth for the local economy. This investment will help grow a sector that already provides around 15,000 local jobs and contributes $1.6 billion to the ACT economy annually."
She added: "Given we have international flights starting in September and the heavy investment in the private sector, which has seen close to 1,000 new hotel rooms opening in the last 18 months, there is a great opportunity for growth for the region. However, the AHA waits seeing more detail in the Budget, in terms of how it will be spent."