NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet

Tourism Accommodation Australia has urged the NSW Government to add accommodation hotels to the list of eligible businesses available to NSW consumers to spend their $25 ‘Out and About Vouchers’.

The AUD$500 million voucher incentive was unveiled this week by NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, in his 2020/21 Budget Speech under which four $25 vouchers will be available to every NSW resident aged 18 and over to put towards dining and entertainment with participating businesses across the state.

Under the scheme, two of the vouchers can be spent on dining at any participating restaurant, while the other two can be used at cultural institutions, performing arts, cinemas and amusement parks, with the scheme to be operated and managed by Service NSW.

Destination NSW will be able to ramp up marketing activity through a larger Budget from the NSW Government.

The program will be introduced with a pilot program before being rolled out in full in early 2021

TAA National CEO, Michael Johnson, said while he welcomed many aspects of the budget, the omission of accommodation hotels from the voucher scheme had essentially left the sector “out in the cold”.

“Other states and territories included accommodation in their voucher schemes and the impact on the sector was almost immediate,” Johnson said.

Tourism Accommodation Australia National CEO, Michael Johnson.

“While we welcome the fact two of the NSW vouchers can be used for dining out in accommodation hotels, we really need the scheme to include actual overnight stays to make a big difference and bring people back into the greater Sydney area.”

Johnson praised the Budget expenditure for tourism marketing, which saw AUD$782 million allocated over four years to promote the state. This incorporates an additional AUD$200 million for Destination NSW, which will help put the state front of mind for interstate and intrastate travellers. He also welcomed changes to the payroll tax system, which saw an increase to the minimum taxable threshold and a temporary reduction in the tax rate itself.