The announcement of new boards to support NSW’s regional tourism will hopefully lead to a renaissance in visitor numbers and regional investment, says Australia’s peak accommodation body, Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA).
Six Boards were announced this week by NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres covering Country & Outback, North Coast, Riverina-Murray, Southern NSW and Sydney Surrounds North and South.
TAA CEO Carol Giuseppi congratulated the NSW Government on their initiative saying that regional tourism had not enjoyed the same success as Sydney in recent years and that 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 Ms 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 82.63%, while regional NSW operators were stalled at 54.29%, making many accommodation businesses marginal. In fact, between 2010 and 2014, the number of tourism businesses in regional NSW diminished by 1961, or -7.08%.
“The situation hasn’t been helped by some of the previous regional tourism associations struggling to stay afloat. 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.
“Tourism provides enormous opportunities to diversify regional economies and provide sustainable employment opportunities. Our industry is highly competitive, so it is imperative that regions constantly innovate and upgrade their offer, while ensuring they are best placed to communicate and influence potential travellers.”