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Inland NSW Regional Tourism Organisation – Doing Things Differently to Achieve Sustainable Growth

August 18, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Coinciding with the anniversary of its third year of operations, Inland NSW has released its ‘scorecard’ of achievements.

As the Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) for approximately 40% of regional NSW, including the footprint covering ‘Outback’, ‘New England North West’, ‘Capital Country’ and the northern half of ‘Central’ NSW, Inland NSW represents 36 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and the Unincorporated Area of Outback. Well known destinations within its diverse footprint include Tamworth, Dubbo, Broken Hill, Armidale, Bowral and Yass, among many others.

An Aspire RTO Benchmark Report prepared by independent consultants EC3Global noted that Inland NSW is ranked number one in terms of Visitor Expenditure per dollar of State Government funding, achieving $3,174 per dollar invested versus an average of $1,062 per dollar for other RTOs reviewed previously.

Inland NSW Chair, Rodger Powell, says the organisation is proud of its achievements in just three years, and that together with its members, it has forged an RTO for the future.

“The results achieved in these first three years demonstrate that our members from the former RTOs have chosen to take this new path and commit to a bold new approach to destination marketing,” said Powell.

“We’re delighted to show that this new collaborative approach is working from the fact that the cumulative overnight visitor expenditure for the region has grown 21% from $4.53 billion for the three years ending March 2011 (2009-2011) to $5.46 billion for the three years ending March 2014 (2012-14).”

“An exceptionally strong working relationship with Destination NSW and engagement with the broader ‘visitor economy’ have also played pivotal roles in delivering these results.”

In addition to managing $5.39 million in cooperative marketing and product development grants, Inland has secured more than $3 million in matched funds for five cross regional Destination Appeal campaigns plus $1.6 million for the development of a cohesive digital platform to champion cross regional tours and trails and the visiting friends and relatives (VFR) market. The VFR market is an integral source market, comprising 35.9% of visitors to Regional NSW.

Inland NSW Chief Executive Officer, Graham Perry says that the comprehensive Destination Management process and the extensive consumer research study undertaken by Inland have driven the ‘consumer facing’ strategy of the business.

“Our strategy from the onset has been to put the consumer squarely at the front, back and centre of everything we do strategically”, explains Perry.

“Consumers don’t see boundaries when they travel between States, Local government areas and Regional Tourism Organisation territories. Key experience drivers that help inspire their journey are food & wine, nature, history & heritage and arts & culture – all of which transcend government borders – so collaboration between towns, local government areas, tourism bodies and all sectors of the visitor economy is imperative to inspiring visitors to travel to our region. The results of this new approach are now evident. ”

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