Cth unveils tourism recovery support package for regions

The Federal Government will open a new $200 million Building Better Regions funding round as part of a new regional tourism support package.

A further $50 million is to be invested in a Regional Tourism Recovery fund to assist businesses in regions reliant on international tourism.

Nine tourism regions will be eligible for funding, including WA’s South-West, the Gold Coast, Kangaroo Island, Lasseter and Alice Springs (NT), the NSW North Coast, the Phillip Island region of Victoria, the State of Tasmania, and Queensland’s Tropical North as well as the Whitsundays and Mackay region.

Of the $200 million earmarked for Round 5 of BBRF’s Infrastructure Projects Stream, $100 million will be dedicated to tourism-related infrastructure.

Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said tourism regions had been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and the new support would help them to bounce back by attracting more Australians and then overseas visitors when international borders re-open.

“This new fund will support internationally dependent tourism regions to adapt their offerings, experiences and marketing to appeal to domestic visitors in the short-term and be in the strongest possible position to welcome back international tourists down the track,” Mr Birmingham said.

Grant guidelines will be made available shortly but will be consistent with the existing BBRF framework. That is, there will be an Infrastructure Projects Stream supporting projects that provide economic and social benefits to regional and remote areas.

These projects can be either construction of new infrastructure or the upgrade or extension of existing infrastructure.

Round 4 BBRF grants ranged from $20,000 up to $10 million.