The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) welcomes investments in the visitor economy made by the Andrews Labor government in the 2016-17 State Budget.
VTIC is pleased to see the government follow through with significant funding allocations which align with our pre-budget submission priorities – increased visitor spending in regional Victoria, and investing in tourism assets across the state.
VTIC Chief Executive Dianne Smith said, “The benefit of drawing more international visitors to regional Victoria is huge. The Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund and the Regional Events Fund will boost the tourism offerings across the state, encourage visitation and help create jobs in regional Victoria.”
“It would be great to see every international visitor to Melbourne going to our regions as well.”
The visitor economy currently contributes $19.6 billion to the Victorian economy and employs more than 200,000 people. With the right settings, this could grow to $34 billion and 310,000 jobs by 2020.
“Increasing the payroll tax threshold will ease the cost of doing business for the thousands of small and medium businesses in our sector. This will help the industry grow and help meet these ambitious targets,” said Ms. Smith.
Some of the key tourism investments included in the state budget are:
The visitor economy will also benefit from the $115 million investment in the Creative State, which includes:
Getting around Melbourne and Victoria will also be made easier with $1.3 billion allocated to improve regional rail services and $134 million for a safety upgrade to the City Loop.
As well as giving the sector a good confidence boost, VTIC is pleased that the government has delivered some tax relief to the thousands of small businesses that contribute to the visitor economy.
VTIC will continue to advocate for strategic investment in the sector and more practical measures that lower business costs and help realise the significant jobs potential of the tourism and events industry in this state.