Time for regional tourism to shine as NSW Government appoints new promotional structure
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said he was delighted to announce the 39 successful applicants including the six chairs – Destination Country and Outback (Stephen Bartlett); Destination North Coast (Cameron Arnold); Destination Riverina Murray (Genevieve Fleming); Destination Southern NSW (Richard Beere); Destination Sydney Surrounds North (David Fellows); and Destination Sydney Surrounds South (Colin Waller).
“The NSW Government committed to announcing the boards before the end of the year and we have achieved this,” Ayres said.
“The successful applicants are passionate proponents of the State’s tourism industry and have the skills and experience to deliver high quality governance, increase industry engagement and grow local visitor economies. A session will be held in the New Year to induct the boards, with our tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, before beginning the recruitment process for operational staff including a general manager, establishing an office and setting priorities for the coming year.”
Tourism Accommodation Australia welcomed the announcement, with CEO Carol Giuseppi saying a major overhaul of the regional tourism structure had been much needed.
“The NSW Government has appointed some high-quality chairs to administer these new boards and we will be looking to see a major increase in impetus in these destinations,” said Giuseppi.
“While overall NSW has performed very strongly in domestic and international tourism, it has been clear for many years that a large number of regional areas have not shared in the State’s tourism boost.”
In the year to June 2016, Sydney accommodation operators enjoyed an occupancy rate of 83 per cent, while regional NSW operators were stalled at 54 per cent, making many accommodation businesses marginal. In fact, between 2010 and 2014, the number of tourism businesses in regional NSW diminished by 7 per cent.
“The situation hasn’t been helped by some of the previous regional tourism associations struggling to stay afloat,” said Giuseppi.
“The NSW Government has created a new regional promotional network that will tap into local knowledge while working closely with Destination NSW to maximise their promotional opportunities.”