Tripling overnight spending to $55 billion annually has been identified as a key objective for the NSW state government as part of a push to grow tourism, with a particular focus on promoting regional areas.
The newly released Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan (VEIAP) 2030 was launched this week by NSW Tourism and Major Events Minister Adam Marshall and outlined the state’s goal of reaching $25 billion annually in spending from visitors to regional and country areas of New South Wales.
Pledging to work closely with the industry, Minister Marshall said promoting the diversity of NSW’s rural and regional centres would unlock more potential and more momentum to achieve the plan’s long-term targets.
“We want to make tourism an engine industry for rural and regional NSW,” the Minister said.
“Since 2011 the NSW Government has turned around performance in the visitor economy – we’ve overseen growth of 36 per cent in overnight visitors and 54 per cent in visitor expenditure,” he added.
A six point strategy will be employed in order to achieve this goal, beginning with the formation of a “NSW Taskforce” comprised of industry leaders and training representatives. Funding for regional areas will be increased and efforts to collaborate with local councils will also be stepped up, while barriers to start a business will be removed to encourage new experiences to get started. A nature-based tourism strategy will be developed, backed by funding for new ventures aligned with this field.
The plan also includes a pledge to create inclusive and accessible tourism initiatives and ventures, as well as new attractions and experiences catering to those with special interests. Efforts to remedy low quality tourism experiences will also be carried out to address concerns and minimise any unscrupulous behaviour.
Funding will also go into introducing new regional flight paths to open up regional centres, particularly as the new Western Sydney Airport is opened towards the end of the planning period.
The plan and particularly its regional focus was welcomed by Tourism Accommodation Australia Chief Executive Carol Giuseppi, who said it showed the government recognised the importance of the NSW visitor economy and it’s evolution over the next decade.
“It builds on the considerable investment and successes achieved since the release of the initial plan back in 2012, which marked a turning point in visitor economy growth in NSW,” Giuseppi added.
To read the strategy in its entirety, CLICK HERE.