SIA signs MOU with New South Wales government to drive tourism to the state

Jacaranda trees blooming in Sydney. PHOTO: DESTINATION NEW SOUTH WALES

SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Australia's New South Wales (NSW) government signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday (July 25) to rebuild tourism in Sydney and NSW.

Through the partnership, the flag carrier will work with Destination NSW, the NSW government's tourism and major events agency, on initiatives such as advertising and marketing campaigns to drive visits to the Australian state.

The MOU was signed at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore.

"Singapore Airlines, with the support of the NSW government, is currently operating four daily flights to Sydney, which is estimated to deliver over $231 million in visitor expenditure to NSW up until July 2023 and support more than 1,200 jobs," said New South Wales Minister for Sport and Tourism Stuart Ayres.

Some 126,000 Singaporeans spent more than one million nights in NSW in 2019, adding A$232 million (S$223.5 million) to its economy, added Mr Ayres, who is also Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, and Minister for Western Sydney.

The agreement, which is part of NSW's A$60 million Aviation Attraction Fund, will facilitate marketing activities across Singapore, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Britain, Germany and France, to increase demand and tourism to NSW.

The fund is part of a Covid-19 economic recovery plan and aims to build aviation capacity across NSW by supporting airlines to return to the state's airports.

Tourism is one of Australia's biggest industries, worth more than A$60 billion and employing about 5 per cent of the country's workforce. But the sector was crippled after the country shut its borders in March 2020.

Australia fully reopened its international borders in February to vaccinated travellers.

SIA's senior vice-president of marketing planning JoAnn Tan said the airline is looking forward to working with Destination NSW to showcase the Australian state's attractions and to promote the state as a destination for its customers.

With the agreement, Mr Ayres said there is a good opportunity to increase the number of flights to Sydney eventually.

"This is a great start and a really strong indication of confidence of flying between Singapore and Sydney... we do hope that this will lead to more aircraft coming into Sydney and that's great for Singapore and great for New South Wales," he said.

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