NSW Government introduces accommodation vouchers to boost the industry.

Eligible accommodation providers in NSW are being invited to register for two new voucher programs, Parents NSW and Stay NSW, which commenced on Tuesday February 1.

On Monday, the NSW Government announced that eligible households will have access to vouchers with a total value of $250 to be used with participating business for entertainment and recreation purposes as well as for accommodation bookings.

Residents with a child aged 4.5 to 18 years who was enrolled in school in 2021, will have access to five of the $50 Parents NSW vouchers via the Service NSW app.

“This stimulus is just what families and businesses need with school holidays concluding. Parents across all communities have made huge sacrifices during the pandemic and we want to say thank you to all of them,” NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Monday.

Meanwhile, Dine & Discover NSW has been expanded to offer consumers $50 towards the cost of accommodation with Stay NSW.

The Premier described the voucher programs as “a huge win” for the accommodation and tourism sectors which he said have been especially hard hit by the pandemic.

“The voucher programs will have a multiplier effect on the economy – and this will encourage families to spend a night or a weekend exploring Sydney or a regional town, while also spending on sightseeing and other activities,” he said.

The programs were initially scheduled for March 2022 but have been brought forward by a month — a move that was welcomed by Tourism Accommodation Australia NSW CEO Michael Johnson.

He said they will provide a much-needed boost to the industry, which is struggling with low occupancy rates and forward bookings.

“We have been speaking with the government about the need for more support and they have listened,” Johnson said.

“These vouchers will boost visitor economies in the regions, which saw a slight uplift in business over the holiday period, and in the city, where hotels have been struggling to survive without tourists and business travellers.”

The vouchers, which can be used at registered hotels, motels and other accommodation providers through the state, come at the perfect time for the many people who had their holiday plans postponed by the Omicron wave, according to Johnson.

“We are a resilient industry, and it is these types of government stimulus that will allow us to recover and return to profitability,” he said.