When asked to nominate the Australian states they’d like to visit on holiday within the next two years, 40.7% of the population name New South Wales as a potential destination. This is a slightly lower proportion than the same time last year, when 41.9% named NSW among their preferred states for a holiday. Upon closer inspection, this decline appears to be due to fewer people being interested in visiting Sydney. Regional destinations are a different story.
This bodes well for Tourism NSW’s current push to promote tourism to the state’s regional destinations through six major regional ‘Destination Networks’: Riverina Murray, Southern NSW (including Snowy Mountains and Far South Coast), North Coast (from Mid-Coast to Tweed Heads), Country and Outback, Sydney Surrounds – North (including Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Hunter Valley), and Sydney Surrounds – South (including Southern Highlands, Wollongong and Shoalhaven).
Of these six regions, preference for the Murray Riverina, Southern NSW, North Coast, Sydney Surrounds – North and Sydney Surrounds – South as potential holiday destinations has seen a moderate year-on-year growth, while interest in the Country and Outback region is stable.
NSW destination preference: regional and Sydney, 2015 vs 2016
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2014-March 2015 (n=15,913) and April 2015-March 2016 (n=15,074). Base: Australians 14+
Where the Big Spenders want to go
Obviously, a major goal of any regional tourism initiative is to boost local economies by attracting visitors with healthy spending power: those who spend upwards of $200 per person, per night. So which NSW regions interest these high-yield travellers?
Southern NSW tops the list, with 31.7% of Australian holiday-goers who’d like to visit the region spending at least $200 per person per night on their last trip.
Travellers who’d like to holiday on the NSW North Coast are also a high-value group (27.9% of them spent $200+ per night on their last holiday); just ahead of those with a preference for Sydney Surrounds – North (27.2%).
The Murray Riverina (23.3%) is the least likely of the new Destination Networks to be on the radar of big-spending holiday-goers.