Stimulus needed to offset tourism downturn

Published on 16 March 2020

Black and white photo of two girls crossing a busy Argent st

Mayor Darriea Turley AM has called for a stimulus package for Broken Hill and Central Darling, predicting that tourism in the areas will be disproportionately affected by the outbreak of Coronavirus.

 Council today cancelled the Heritage Festival that was to be held in April, and recently launched a $410,000 marketing campaign with Destination NSW and the Central Darling Shire.

 Mayor Turley said that the outbreak couldn't have come at a worse time for tourism operators in the region, but noted that the health of the community was the key priority.

 "This campaign marked the beginning of something very positive for our tourism industry so this is incredibly unfortunate timing," said Mayor Turley.

 "It's an amazing campaign that is very effective in showcasing what we have to offer, but the reality is that the outbreak will greatly reduce the number of people travelling across Australia and the world.

 "Other regions may be able to weather the storm until the virus passes and things return to normal, but it's a huge blow for us out here in the Far West.

 “Even the cancellation of the Heritage Festival is significant. That had been widely marketed and had 600 people interesting in attending – that’s a significant tourism opportunity lost.

 “Losing one festival may not sound like much to other Councils, but every tourism dollar is critical in the outback, and I believe some assistance should be made available.

 "I also encourage everyone to shop local where possible and support our businesses during this difficult time."

 Mayor Turley said she would write to the city's State and Federal ministers to advocate for financial support for the region.