20 October 2021

A $500 million support package for the events and tourism industry will provide much-needed support to the Illawarra’s hardest hit businesses, according to the region’s peak business organisation, Business Illawarra. 

Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced the package, which includes each adult being provided a $50 voucher to spend on accommodation anywhere in the State.

“Business Illawarra has been telling Government since the start of the pandemic that different industries were being impacted in different ways, but there is no doubt that the tourism, hospitality and events sectors have borne the absolute brunt of the pandemic,” said Business Illawarra Executive Director Adam Zarth.

“It is welcome news that this is not a Sydney-centric package but recognises that regions like ours have a key role in the economic recovery through regional events and tourism.” Mr Zarth said. 

“Illawarra events and hospitality businesses will welcome the Event Saver Fund, which allows for immediate financial support for organisers of events that are disrupted or cancelled due to a Public Health Order this summer. This will allow confidence in investment and employment without a fear of being left footing a huge bill.” 

“We believe this support package will encourage more local business investment and build on the Illawarra’s strong record in attracting major events like the Wollongong 2022 world cycling event to encourage a strong return of business and leisure travel to our region.”

“What is crucial is the targeted approach the Government takes from here in deciding where the money is spent – this needs to be on a needs-based approach to ensure maximum return on investment.” 

“A united approach using insight from stakeholders on the ground will be crucial to ensuring this package delivers for all of NSW.”

“Right now, we expect that all tourism and accommodation businesses in our region will be preparing for the surge of bookings that will come as travel restrictions ease further and this support package is rolled out,” said Mr Zarth 

“Business Illawarra looks forward to working with the State Government in coming weeks on additional measures and support that will drive more formal return to work practices further enhancing the economic stability of our CBDs,” Mr Zarth said.