New funding for regional tourism

A new grants program to help regional tourism businesses to improve their offerings is now open for applications, Lisa Chesters, Federal Labor candidate for Bendigo, said today.

The new Tourism Industry Regional Development Fund (TIRF) Grants Program will help achieve industry goals for increased productivity, innovation and quality contained in the national Tourism 2020 strategy.

Ms Chesters said the grants could benefit local tourism businesses and have a flow on effect to other businesses in the Bendigo.

“A major focus of the TIRF Grants Program will be improving the quality of accommodation and attractions in regional areas,” Ms Chesters said.

“Funding will also be available for creating completely new projects to attract interstate and international visitors and extend their length of stay.

“This investment by the Gillard Government will help attract visitors to Bendigo. These visitors bring important tourist dollars that benefit not only our local tourism businesses, but also have a positive effect on the rest of the community.

“Bendigo is fortunate to have a strong, diverse economy, and the tourism industry is an important part of that diversity. These grants can help grow the sector.”

“I would like to encourage local businesses engaged in our tourism sector to apply for the grant.”

“Eligible businesses have until 14 December 2012 to get their applications in, and I encourage tourism operators in the area to investigate this valuable new opportunity.

Grants from $50,000 to $250,000 will be offered on a dollar-for-dollar funding basis, for more details phone the Tourism Grants Information Line on 02 6243 7604 or visit www.ret.gov.au/tirfgrants.