A new hospitality festival will receive $15,000 in funding from the Liberal and Nationals Government to boost domestic visitors and support Noosa's tourism sector following the summer's bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic, Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien announced today.
The 2020 Noosa Eat and Drink Celebration, to be launched in December, is one of ten projects sharing in $245,000 in funding under the $10 million Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants for projects and events in fire-affected regions in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
"This is a new event, based on the popular Eat and Drink Festival, that will be held across multiple venues and showcase Noosa's amazing produce and renowned hospitality," Mr O'Brien said.
"Tourism is a significant economic driver for Noosa and creates thousands of jobs for local people, so supporting events like these will make a tangible difference to the region as we recover from the bushfires and the damage from COVID-19."
Mr O'Brien said the events, including a vintage motoring run, art trail, cycling event, concert and food festival, would assist in boosting the number of domestic visitors to our area when the time was right.
This is the second round of funding under the grants program, following $580,000 of funding announced for 24 events and projects in June.
The grants program is part of a $76 million tourism bushfire recovery package to protect jobs, small businesses and local economies.
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said with COVID-19 restrictions easing in some states it's the right time to plan for events which will help to breathe life back into our regional tourism industry.
"These community events and projects are all about encouraging Australians back into our regions, to keep struggling tourism businesses alive by putting dollars back into the hands of local vendors and operators," Minister Littleproud said.
"Each year, Australia attracts close to nine million international arrivals and with no immediate return to international travel in sight, it's more important than ever that Australians support regional tourism and enjoy the best of what we have in our own backyard.
"This year has been as tough as it gets for so many of our regional communities that have been hit hard by the combined impact of bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is not only an opportunity to give visitors a new reason visit our regions, it is an important chance for communities to come together and focus on something positive and to celebrate what's unique about their region.
"I'm urging all Aussies to consider taking a holiday right here, when it's safe to do so – you'll be doing yourself and the locals a huge favour."
For further information on the RTBR grants program visit: www.austrade.gov.au/Australian/Tourism/Tourism-and-business/Grants/regional-tourism-bushfire-recovery-grants.