Handy Hints for completing your Refresh & Renew Fund application

5 November 2021

2021–22 Financial Year

Part of the Tourism Product Development Fund.


The following information is to provide you with more guidance when completing your application.  Please read the Funding Guidelines first so that you have an overview of the program and the terms and conditions.

For easy reference to the information, you may want to open the Funding Guidelines and Handy Hints in separate new tabs and keep them open on your browser. Alternatively, print them out by clicking on the Print button at the top of the document. We recommend you close the ‘Alert’ banner at the bottom of the webpage before printing.

If you do not meet one or more of the eligibility requirements, do not commence an application. Your application will not be eligible if you do not meet all the eligibility requirements. If you have any doubt about your eligibility, please contact your Destination Network to seek advice.

The following information should be read in conjunction with developing your application and reviewing your form prior to submission.

As you complete the online form please regularly (at least every 30 minutes and at any time you step away from computer) click the ‘Save Draft’ button to ensure you do not lose your work.

We recommend that you use the latest version of Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera to complete the online application form. If you are using outdated versions or other systems, the site may not function as intended.

Application writing tips

  • Grant funding rounds are highly competitive. Assessors will be reviewing a high volume of applications.  You need to present a concise, easy to read application that addresses all the stated requirements of the assessment criteria for the fund.
  • Write your application assuming the assessor knows nothing about your business or your proposed project. Is the information you are providing easily understood by someone who doesn’t know your business or is unfamiliar with your project?
  • Write factually. The information you submit needs to be accurate. If any misleading information is included in your application, it will affect your chances of receiving a grant; or if you were successful, it may result in the offer of funding being withdrawn.
  • Do you have a business plan? Is the business plan up to date? Is the work proposed included in your business plan? If you have an up-to-date business plan, attach it to the application.
  • Plan how you will use the grant money effectively to deliver the project.
  • Consider how your project idea will translate into action. If the work proposed has several different elements, consider all the steps required to complete it and develop a simple project plan. Attach this project plan to your application
  • Answer all the questions and provide supporting evidence.

Section 1 - Applicant Business Details

1.1 Business Details (organisation or lead organisation if a consortium)

Registered Business Name: The business name supplied must be registered for GST.

ABN: The ABN supplied must relate to the Business Name supplied above.

Trading Name: If you trade under another name using the above ABN provide that trading name.

Registered Business Address: Provide the registered address of the business.

Postal Address: If your postal address is different (e.g. a PO Box) please provide the postal address. If your registered business address is the same as your postal address, tick the ‘Same as above’ box.

1.2 Authorised Person

This must be an individual who is able and authorised to enter into a Funding Agreement with Destination NSW on behalf of the applicant business, if the application is successful. This may be a Director, General Manager or an owner of the applicant business. Please complete all the fields requested in the form which are:

Title: Select the appropriate title from the drop-down list supplied e.g. Mr, Mrs, Ms, Doctor, etc.

First Name: Enter the First Name of the Authorised person.

Last Name: Enter the Last Name of the Authorised person.

Position Title: The title held in the business e.g. Director, Owner, CEO, General Manager, etc.

Postal Address: Provide the postal address of the authorised person. If it is the same as the business postal address, tick the ‘Same as business postal address’ box.

Phone: Provide a phone number the Authorised person can be contacted on.

Mobile: Provide the mobile number the Authorised person can be contacted on.

Email: Supply an email address the Authorised person can be contacted on.

Please select the Business Category Type for the applicant organisation:

Select from the supplied list the category that describes your type of business.

1.3 Primary Contact

This person will be contacted on all matters relating to this application. It can be the Authorised Person or an individual preparing the application on behalf of the business applying for the Funding. If it will be the Authorised Person, then tick the ‘Same as Authorised Person’ box. If a different person is to be the Primary Contact, then complete all the contact details requested.

Title: Select the appropriate title from the drop-down list supplied e.g. Mr, Mrs, Ms, Doctor, etc.

First Name: Enter the First Name of the Primary Contact.

Last Name: Enter the Last Name of the Primary Contact.

Position Title: The title held in the business e.g. Director, Owner, CEO, General Manager, etc.

Relationship to Business: From the drop down list, please select the option that best describes your relationship to the applicant business.

Phone: Provide a phone number the Primary Contact can be contacted on.

Mobile: Provide the mobile number the Primary Contact can be contacted on.

Email: Supply an email address the Primary Contact can be contacted on.

1.4 Business Category

Please select the Business Category Type, from the supplied list, that best describes your type of business structure. If you are unsure, please talk to your accountant for advice.

1.5 GST Registration

Is the applicant organisation registered for GST? Select Yes or No to answer this question.

Attach evidence of your GST Registration. You can obtain this evidence by going to the Australian Business Number Look Up website and entering the ABN you supplied in 1.1. You can print the results page to a PDF format and then upload the PDF file to your application.

If the ABN lookup doesn’t confirm you are registered for GST then you cannot apply to the funding program until you are registered for GST and can attach evidence of your registration to the application. If you are successful you will need to still be registered for GST to be eligible to enter into a Funding Agreement with Destination NSW.

1.6 Public Liability Insurance

Please advise if the applicant business has at least $20 million public liability insurance? Select Yes or No to answer this question.

The applicant business will need to have at least $20 million in public liability insurance prior to entering into a Funding Agreement with Destination NSW.

1.7 Sharing your information

This question is seeking your approval for Destination NSW to share the content of the application with staff members of Destination NSW, the relevant Destination Network and external advisors of Destination NSW for the purposes of assessment and communication and for information purposes to certain NSW Government Ministerial Representatives.

Without providing this approval your application cannot be assessed, as under privacy rules we need your permission to share the contents. All assessors are bound by confidentiality agreements and codes of conduct. Your business information will be treated as Commercial-in-Confidence.

Select Yes or No to answer this question.

Section 2 - Project Details

2.1 Business Name and Physical Location

If the Business Name and Physical Location of the project is the same as the Applicant Business Name, tick the ‘Same as Applicant Business Name and Business Address’ box.

If the information is different, provide the relevant Business Name and Address as requested in the application form.

2.2 Accommodation Property

a) Accommodation Type

This question is requesting you to place a tick next to the accommodation property type, from the drop-down list, that best describes your business. If none of the options fit your accommodation type, we suggest you contact your Destination Network to seek advice before proceeding with your application.

If your Destination Network confirms that you are eligible and agrees that none of the options fit, you can provide a suitable category for your accommodation type in the free text next to ‘Other’.

b) Accommodation Room numbers

This question is asking you to state the maximum number of rooms available in your online inventory.

To be eligible to apply you need to have between 11 and 99 rooms available on your online inventory.

As evidence of the number you have supplied, you are also asked to upload a copy of your Property Management System (PMS) report (or equivalent) showing the online inventory chart.

Create the report from your PMS, save it to your computer and upload it to the application form.

2.3 Please provide the following information:

In the boxes provided supply the URL link to your own website, the name of your online booking platform and the URL link to your product listing on www.visitnsw.com, which is Destination NSW’s consumer website.

More information about getting your product listed on visitnsw.com is available on the Destination NSW website.

An applicant from an area with no or limited internet connectivity, which results in online bookings not being viable for their business, may still apply. Please succinctly clarify the challenges regarding connectivity, so the assessors understand you are seeking an exemption from this requirement. Your response should be inserted into the box that is headed “Online Booking Platform”.

Further information regarding your connectivity issues can be attached to your application after question 2.9. The additional information is important for the Assessors to understand why your business should be exempt from being bookable online.

2.4 Employment Data

For the Calendar year 2019 (or the Financial year 2019 if you were bushfire affected) please complete the table. Enter the number of each type of worker listed in the table that is engaged at your business and the average number of hours each type of worker completes each week.

Seasonal demand is likely to vary the number of workers you need and the hours they work throughout the year. You need to provide an overall weekly average figure for the number of workers and their hours.

The information you enter will automatically calculate the number of full-time equivalent workers at your business, which will appear at the end of the table.

2.5 Target Market

Who currently visits your tourism product and where are they from? What type of person are they (business travellers, families, couples, groups, grey nomads, etc) and where are they from e.g. intrastate (Sydney, Regional NSW?), interstate (which states?) and/or international destinations. What is the percentage of your market for each type nominated? Please enter your answer in the free text box.

You may have more than one target market, but it should definitely not be everybody. This information and your answers in 2.6 help the assessors understand where your business fits into the visitor economy and the relevance of the proposed work to meet your consumers’ needs and expectations.

2.6 Purpose of Visit/Stay

a) What are the primary reasons that guests stay at your accommodation? Examples might include: leisure, business, layovers by touring/drive holiday markets, VFR, etc. For each reason nominated please supply the percentage of your occupancy that is represented by the category. There may be some overlap in the information you provided in 2.5, that is ok. We just want to make sure that the assessors fully understand who visits your accommodation, where they are from and why they stay. Please enter your answer in the free text box.

b) What are the top key attractions or experiences in your destination and what is the travel time to each from your accommodation property? The table will let you enter this information for up to 10 attractions or experiences. It is not necessary to list 10 unless there are that many key attractions or experiences within reasonable travel time from your accommodation.

Think about what attractions or experiences your visitors ask about or for directions to.

This information assists the assessors to understand the types of activities visitors may undertake while staying at your accommodation.

2.7 Describe the work you are intending to undertake to Refresh and Renew your business

Clearly state what the funding you are requesting will be used for. Some examples could include painting and replacing the soft furnishing to provide a more contemporary look and colour palette in the accommodation, replacing all mattresses and linens, renovating bathrooms and kitchenettes, gyprock over exposed brick walls and repainting, replacing room furniture and carpets, installing new Wi-Fi system, keyless entry systems or contactless check-in systems, and/or revarnish the timber decks, railings and pergolas to improve the outdoor dining and function area.

Once you have clearly listed the work to be undertaken, provide enough background detail so that an assessor who may not be familiar with your business can understand the size, scale or scope of work to be undertaken. Please note that after question 2.9 you can attach plans, images and other information to support your answer.

2.8 Explain how the work will deliver a better quality visitor experience to your guests

Tell us why you want to do the proposed work and how the work you have described above will deliver a better-quality visitor experience to people who stay at your accommodation. Will it improve your ability to service customers and provide a more comfortable stay, will it make your business more visually appealing, will it allow you to replace outdated technology or old-fashioned fittings and fixtures?

2.9 Outline the evidence you have from your guests that your business is not currently meeting their expectations

Let us know what information you have, such as consumer feedback you have received that lets you know that the business is not currently meeting your visitors’ expectations, or other research or evidence to support that an issue exists which is resulting in the product not meeting visitors’ expectations. Review your visitor guest books, guest surveys, third party travel websites or your own website reviews, social media, etc., to see if there are comments that show your consumers would like these improvements to your business.

You can also attach information to support your answers to questions 2.7, 2.8 and 2.9 in the section below question 2.9 e.g. copies of consumer feedback (from your own surveys, guestbook, website or third party travel websites) that highlights the need to make these types of improvements in your business; photographs of the areas you intend to improve and the issue to be addressed; any plans, mood boards or concepts for the work to be carried out; brochures on the furniture or equipment to be purchased; or any other supporting information regarding the work and the need.

2.10 Does any aspect of the work proposed require Development Approval?

Simply select Yes or No as appropriate for your project.

If you select Yes, 2.11 will appear. If you select No, 2.11 a) will appear.

2.11 Has the Development Approval been obtained?

Simply select Yes or No as appropriate for your project.

If you select Yes, please attach a copy of the complete DA including Council-stamped plans.

If you select No, a text box will appear asking you to advise when you submitted your DA to Council or when you intend to submit the DA to Council. Please also provide the anticipated timeframe for the approval process e.g. submitted to Council on (insert date), Council decision anticipated on (insert date).

There is the opportunity below this text box to attach evidence you have submitted the DA to Council. You should also attach the plans you have or will be submitting to Council as part of your DA.

Should the application be successful, no funding payment will be made until a copy of the approved DA and the Council-stamped plans are provided to Destination NSW.  The approved DA must be consistent with the project as described in the application. For example, if the Council has varied the proposed work or has imposed operating restrictions, which result in the project no longer meeting the assessment criteria, then the offer of funding may be withdrawn.

2.11 a) Will your project require construction work or installation of prefabricated infrastructure?

Simply select Yes or No as appropriate for your project.

If you select Yes, you will need to supply a letter from your Council confirming that a DA is not required.

This type of activity usually requires a DA to ensure the work proposed is compliant. Attaching a letter from Council will confirm to the assessors that your project can proceed and will not encounter issues due to non-compliance or delays due to DA approval being needed for the project to proceed.

2.12 Proposed project start date

The proposed start date will need to be at least 3 months after the Fund’s closing date.

The reason for the three month ‘window’ is to allow for the assessment and approval process, provide the NSW Government with the opportunity to announce the funding and for a Funding Agreement to be negotiated and entered into between the applicant and Destination NSW.

Provide the anticipated start date in the box provided. The date format required is dd/mm/yyyy and a clickable calendar is provided to easily populate the field.

NOTE: No work can commence on the project described in the application or any money listed in the budget expended until the Funding Agreement has been entered into. This may result in the work commencing later than the date nominated in your application.

2.13 Anticipated completion date

This is the date, based on your project timeframe, that you anticipate all work will have been finished and the improved facilities will be available to visitors or guests.

Provide the anticipated launch date in the box provided. The date format required is dd/mm/yyyy and a clickable calendar is provided to easily populate the field.

2.14 Available to visitors for at least 50 weeks each calendar year

This question is seeking confirmation that you meet one of the key eligibility requirements, which is that your accommodation is and will continue to be available to visitors for at least 50 weeks of each calendar year. If yes, select the Yes check box.

If there are more than two weeks of the year that your business can’t be open to visitors, select the No box.

Please note that this excludes situations where due to emergency orders, natural disasters or other unforeseeable circumstances, your business is unable to operate. It is asking about your normal, planned operating arrangements.

2.15 Bookable online

If visitors can book your accommodation online through your own and/or a third-party website, and you intend for this facility to continue to be available to visitors, select the Yes check box.

Please note that an online enquiry form, email, social media or ‘chat’ enquiry option does not constitute being bookable online. Bookable online refers to consumers being able to, in ‘real time’, see your availability, make a booking and have the booking confirmed 24/7.

If in question 2.3 you explained why you do not have online booking functionality then respond “No” to this question.

Section 3 - Project Implementation

3.1 Suppliers

a) Will you be employing tradespeople to complete the proposed work?

Simply select Yes or No as appropriate for your project.

If you select Yes question b) will appear. If you select No, proceed to c).

b) Please provide information on which businesses will be undertaking the work and attach estimates for the cost of the work proposed.

Provide details regarding the tradespeople to be engaged to complete the work.

Attach below question b) the quotes or estimates they have supplied for the work to be undertaken.

Quotes or estimates from suppliers should include the supplier’s business name, ABN/CAN, address and contact details. Quotes or estimates are required to show that the budget is enough to complete the work described in your application and that the budget doesn’t include GST.

c) Will you be purchasing new equipment or materials as part of the Refresh and Renew project?

Simply select Yes or No as appropriate for your project.

If you select Yes question d) will appear.

If you select No, proceed to e).

d) Please provide information on where you will be sourcing equipment or materials e.g. furniture, soft furnishings, light fittings etc., and the businesses you will be using or ordering from?

Provide any information you have regarding where and from whom you will be sourcing any equipment or materials as part of your Refresh and Renew project.

Please attach estimates, price lists, brochures and/or screen shots of the pricing for these items. This will show the assessor that the budget is enough to complete the work described in your application and that the budget doesn’t include GST.

e) Please provide any other information, not covered by the above, that you feel is relevant for us to better understand the work proposed and your suppliers.

If you have any other information that you think will assist an assessor to better understand the work to be undertaken and the businesses you will be using, please include that information here. For example, you may wish to clarify how the various quotes or estimates supplied for your application all piece together to achieve the project outcomes, advise that you have only used local businesses or explain why you will be using interstate or international suppliers for materials, provide more detail about your suppliers and why you have selected them, or provide examples of other quotes you received but have rejected and why.

If you have no other information you would like to share with us, please proceed to 3.2 Project Budget.

3.2 Project Budget

Provide a summary budget in the template within the application form. All costs included in the budget are to be provided excluding GST. You can add extra rows to the table by clicking on the ‘Add Row” button.

The budget shouldn’t just be one line - for example, “Painting and other work $45,000”. The budget should align with the estimates, quotes and pricing information you have supplied in section 3.1.

All anticipated project costs should be included in the budget, even ineligible costs.

The total value of the eligible work proposed must cost at least $45,000 excluding GST.  Destination NSW will contribute $30,000 towards eligible costs and you will need to contribute at least $15,000 towards these eligible costs.

Applications can be for projects of a much greater value, however all additional costs and ineligible costs will need to be covered by you.

The Funding Guidelines provide a list of the types of expenses that are not eligible.

Other points to think about:

  • Check that your requested funding is within the minimum and maximum limits of the grant.
  • Read the guidelines thoroughly to make sure your costs are eligible for grant funding.

3.3 Supporting Documentation – Proof of Applicant’s Contribution

In this section you are being asked to provide evidence that you or your business have enough cash funds on hand to meet the co-contribution i.e. the total amount listed in the ‘Applicant Cash’ column of the Project Budget in 3.2.

This information demonstrates to the assessors that you personally or the business are in a financial position to contribute the money required to complete the project. A list of the types of evidence you can supply is provided in the application form. The most common evidence supplied is a copy of the latest bank statement for the account in which the money is currently held. A bank app screenshot can be attached as your evidence, if the name of the account is visible in the screenshot.

3.4 Supporting Documentation - Letter of Commitment

You need to supply a letter confirming that you have the funds required for the project and if successful you will use these funds to deliver the project. Applicants should upload a Letter of Commitment on company letterhead or with contact details, signed by the Authorised Person. This letter should contain details of the project, the source(s) of the matching funds and a commitment that the matching cash will be directed to the funded project (if successful). The letter should be addressed to Destination NSW, GPO Box 7050, Sydney NSW 2001.

3.5 Capacity to Deliver the Project

Please attach a CV or Resume for each of the key staff who will be overseeing the implementation of this project, and any other supporting information to demonstrate their skills and experience to oversee and manage the project.

Consider supplying photos of previous projects undertaken at the property, your business plan, plan for the project implementation, and any other information that provides evidence of you or your project manager’s ability to deliver the project described in the application.

Section 4 - Other Funding

4.1 Other NSW Government funding for this project - Has the applicant received other NSW Government funding of any type for this project?

If you have received any NSW Government Funding for any part of the project described in your application, select Yes. If no NSW Government Funding has been received, select No.

If you have selected Yes, question 4.2 will appear. If you select No proceed to Section 5.

4.2 Which Government Funding, how much funding and what was the purpose of the funding received. You may benefit from attaching the Funding Agreement to the application.

If you have received NSW Government Funding of any kind for any aspect of the project then provide more information about the funding, what it was for and how much money you received. You should also provide an update on what stage the work is up to.

Below this question is the opportunity to attach a copy of the Funding Agreement for the funding you have already received.  Attaching the Funding Agreement provides complete transparency and removes all questions regarding the funding you have received, its purpose, and whether there is duplication of funding.

Section 5 - Declaration

The declaration is a legal declaration in relation to the contents of the application, so please ensure the Authorised Person reads the declaration carefully and is clear about what they are ‘signing’ their name to.

The declaration can only be ‘signed’ by the Authorised person. By typing in the Authorised Person’s name and Position Title they are legally deemed to have signed the declaration.

The declaration must be signed prior to submitting the application.

Applicants should review their application carefully before submitting, to ensure all questions are answered honestly and thoroughly and that all required information and documents are attached to support their application.

Once applications are submitted, applicants will not be able to change their submission.  Any required information that has not been supplied, is ambiguous, or incomplete will reduce the competitiveness of their application.

Submitting your Application

Applicants should review their application carefully before submitting, to ensure all questions are answered honestly and thoroughly and that all required information and documents are attached to support their application.  Once applications are submitted, applicants will not be able to change their submission. Any missing, incomplete or ambiguous information will reduce the competitiveness of the application.

Once all the information is complete you can submit your application.

If there is a missed mandatory field, or information supplied in the incorrect format, the system will not accept the application. If this occurs, error message(s) will appear at the top of the application form in red. The relevant fields in the application will also be marked in red as you move through the form.

You will need to fix these errors and re-save the application before it can be successfully submitted. Please do NOT leave submitting your application until the deadline. You may have insufficient time to resolve any issues prior to the closing date and time.

Once you have successfully submitted your application you will receive a confirmation email from Tourism.Funding@dnsw.com.au. If you do not receive a confirmation email, the application has not been submitted. Please check your Spam or Junk Mail folder.

You can also see the status of your application from your dashboard. Log out and log back into the online application portal. Check the application status column of the dashboard. If the application is still marked as draft, it has not been submitted.

If after checking for error messages, you are still unable to submit your application, please email Tourism.Funding@dnsw.com.au and provide your application ID Number so we can review the draft and provide technical assistance.

What Happens after the Application is submitted?

Destination NSW, in partnership with the Destination Networks, will review and assess the applications submitted.

A recommendation to fund the projects that best meet all the criteria will be made by the Assessment Panel.

You will be notified by email of the outcome of your application as soon as possible. It may be up to three months before you receive the notification.

Related pages

Tourism Product Development Fund

Refresh and Renew Fund – Guidelines