Coalition promises tourism funds for small to medium wineries, distilleries, breweries

Australian wine, spirits and craft beer producers will be able to apply for Federal Government grants to upgrade their cellar doors and facilities to help entice tourists if the Coalition is re-elected.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce a $20 million package to help wineries, breweries and distilleries update their infrastructure to get more tourists through the doors.

Small- to medium-sized producers will be able to apply for grants up to $100,000 in matched funding to upgrade or build “tourism-associated facilities” such as restaurants, tour facilities and viewing platforms, but not accommodation.

Mr Morrison said the money would help businesses make the most out of the return of tourists after two years of closed borders.

“We’re opening Australia’s cellar doors to the world for more of our wine, spirit and craft beer producers,” Mr Morrison said.

“A strong tourism industry means a strong economy.

“Tourism is key to our plan and this funding will help bring in more tourists to local businesses, meaning more people touring our breweries and wineries, more people buying products and ultimately businesses employing more people.

“Australia is a global tourism leader for our beaches, parks, wildlife, Indigenous culture and our cities, and there are huge opportunities for our wineries and distilleries to take advantage of the planeloads of tourists looking for a new experience as we emerge from COVID lockdowns .”

Small to medium operators would be able to apply for federal government grants if the Coalition is re-elected. (pixabay)

As part of the package, $5 million will be provided to tourism and local government organizations, which can apply for $100,000 to create new events to attract tourists and showcase wineries, distilleries, and craft beer makers.

Minister for Trade and Tourism Dan Tehan said the funding would support local jobs, and many regional and rural businesses stand to benefit.

“More than 60 per cent of distilleries are in rural and regional Australia and Australian wineries spread across 65 regions, so these programs will support regional Australia to diversify their tourism offerings, which is a key plank of our long-term tourism strategy,” he said.

“Only our government is investing in the future to support local jobs and businesses and to ensure we remain a world-leading tourist destination.

“Our long-term plan to grow and strengthen the tourism sector puts modernisation, diversification and collaboration at its core.”

Since Australia’s borders reopened in February, more than 330,000 tourists arrived, while more than 80,000 skilled workers and 24,000 working holiday makers have made the trip.

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