Sydney Harbour, a major tourist attraction.

A recent New South Wales State Budget announced the State is taking measures to combat the industry’s staff shortage.

The State of New South Wales has committed $285.2 million to the vocational education and training in the New South Wales tourism sector.

“There are very real shortages right across the accommodation industry right now when it comes to skilled workers in the managerial, culinary, food and beverage areas in particular,” TAA CEO Carol Giuseppi said.

An additional $764.8 million has also been set aside for skills development and training programs through TAFE NSW (Technical and Further Education New South Wales) and other registered training providers.

“Making TAFE courses free for some 100,000 people will help boost the numbers of students going into these key areas of our industry in coming years. There’s no doubt building workforce capability remains a key priority for our industry, and it is great to see that addressed in today’s Budget, as well as the increase in the payroll tax-free threshold.”

Ms Giuseppi was also supportive of the new transport and infrastructure initiatives included in the Budget.

“Spending on the feasibility study into a high-speed underground train connecting the Sydney CBD to Parramatta and Sydney Olympic Park is important, as fast connectivity is crucial in boosting the visitor economy benefits of Western Sydney,” she said.

The total contribution of the tourism industry to the state’s economy is an estimated $32.5 billion, 6 percent of NSW’s gross state product.