MEDIA RELEASE - Labor calls for immediate action to address tourism crisis

The NSW Labor Opposition has demanded the Berejiklian Government immediately implement a marketing campaign to help towns grappling with a tourism crisis in the wake of the recent bushfires and ongoing drought. Labor Shadow Minister for Investment and Tourism Jenny Aitchison said many businesses owners are struggling with a significant economic loss during what is usually their busiest time. “I have spoken to accommodation providers and tourism operators up and down the coast who have been impacted by these fires and they are all struggling with sleepless nights as they worry about their future,” Ms Aitchison said. “There is a major tourism crisis facing towns and cities all across NSW that will only get worse if the government doesn’t act immediately” “Many have lost some of their most profitable weeks over the Christmas and New Year period, which help sustain them over quieter months.” “While tourists should avoid areas that are currently battling fires, there are places, both on the coast and inland, that desperately need a lifeline and would welcome the economic boost that domestic and international tourism brings.” “The government has also not done enough to make clear to tourists where it is safe to travel, and which communities are crying out for tourists to return.” “The government has cut $65m to the Destination NSW Budget in the last two years. Now is the time to inject urgently needed fund to the sector and create a comprehensive tourism campaign.” Ms Aitchison added that not only has this government left small businesses and tourism operators with limited support during this crisis, it has also failed to appoint a new CEO to coordinate the response after the former Destination NSW’s CEO resigned last year. “It is appalling that when the tourism industry is crying out for help and clear direction is needed, there is still no permanent head of the agency.” “Immediate comprehensive promotion of NSW as a destination ready for tourism, along with guidance on where and when people can travel, is the bare minimum they should be able to expect.”

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