Tourism businesses across Ballarat and region have been encouraged to consider an application for funding under Round 2 of the Tourism Industry Regional Development Fund (TIRF) grants program.
The program offers dollar-for-dollar matched funding of between $50,000 and $250,000 to assist tourism operators to increase the quality and range of visitor experiences in regional Australia. Funding of $9.6 million is available in Round 2 of the program.
Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, said TIRF grants offer unique opportunities for rural and regional tourism operators to improve the quality of their tourism products, and increase the numbers of visitors to their regions.
“I strongly encourage local regional tourism operators to apply for a grant under Round 2 of the TIRF grants program,” Ms King said.
“In the last round of TIRF grants Sovereign Hill secured funding to help provide special access requirements at its Comfort Inn accommodation facility.
“These investments in our local tourism by the Labor Government have flow-on benefits for the region’s economy more broadly, with local businesses deriving benefits from visitors and in turn providing employment opportunities for local people.
“I am proud that the Australian Government continues to support such an important industry, and look forward to seeing what quality projects our local industry will produce with this new TIRF grants round.”
This year’s program will also include a new labour and skills stream, Labour & Skills Enhance, which allocates $2.1 million to support labour and skills development projects in regional Australia.
The Australian Government’s TIRF Grants Program, launched in June 2012, provides funding over four years to assist the industry in reaching Tourism 2020 growth targets. Under Tourism 2020, the Australian Government is working with industry, states and territories to increase overnight tourism expenditure to between $115 billion and $140 billion by 2020.
Online applications for Round 2 of the TIRF grants program close on Wednesday 7 August 2013. Successful applicants are expected to be announced in October 2013.
More details to assist applicants, including YouTube presentations, the program guidelines, information on successful applicants from Round 1, and a link to apply, visit www.ret.gov.au/tirfgrants