Canberra’s tourism sector continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The recovery of this sector over the coming years is a priority for the ACT Government and additional support will be delivered through the 2020-21 Territory Budget to assist in rebuilding the industry.
At its peak in 2019, the industry employed 18,500 people and contributed around $2.5 billion to the Territory economy.
The combination of bushfires and COVID-19 wiped out around $1.3 billion in overnight visitor expenditure from the tourism industry in the year ending September 2020.
Our tourism recovery efforts started in September 2020, with the launch of a new destination marketing campaign, More Than. The Government will invest a further $2 million in the campaign over the next three years, making it the largest-ever domestic destination marketing campaign in the Territory’s history.
This investment will strengthen our reach into our largest markets of Sydney, regional NSW, south-east Queensland, Melbourne and regional Victoria.
The return of domestic tourism will be a key pillar of our economic recovery, with around 90 per cent of Canberra’s visitors coming from the domestic market.
The ACT Government will also launch a $1.5 million ACT COVID-Safe Tourism Co-investment Program to help the industry recover.
The COVID-Safe Tourism Investment Program will provide matched funding to businesses to develop COVID-safe tourism products and infrastructure that will support the recovery of the sector and provide opportunities for new job creation.
Through these initiatives, the ACT Government aims to rebuild and grow the ACT’s overnight visitor expenditure to $3.5 billion by 2030.
The ACT Government has already rolled out a number of programs to support the local tourism and hospitality industry recover from COVID, including:
- the Tourism Cooperative Marketing Fund, providing matched funding to local tourism operators for campaigns that seek to attract visitors to the ACT
- tax relief to Canberra’s hotels and hospitality industry through rebates and fee relief
- the ACT Event Fund, established to support the festivals and events sector develop, market and promote their events
- support for a new physical distancing technology pilot to help position Canberra to attract new business events in the current environment
The ACT Government is committed to helping rebuild key industries like tourism and hospitality as part of our ACT Jobs and Economic Recovery Plan.