Destination Sydney Surrounds South

DSSS is one of seven Destination Networks (DNs) in regional NSW. Its principal role is to represent and coordinate the growth and development of the Sydney Surrounds South visitor economy. The Sydney Surrounds South region comprises the five local government areas: Kiama, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Wollongong and Wingecarribee (the Southern Highlands). Each has their respective vision for the future, and projects and priorities, which are relevant to the sustainable growth of the region.

The Sydney Surrounds South visitor economy delivered 6.6% of the region’s jobs, supports 6,295 businesses and directly delivers 4.0% ($1.3 billion) of the region’s Gross Value Add (GVA) which has grown every year since 2010-11 at an average 4.9% pa. The region attracted just over 13 million visitors and 14 million visitor nights.

    Destination Sydney Surrounds South Map

    Strategic Projects

    Agritourism Planning Reforms

    The NSW Department of Planning and Environment is making it easier for farmers to use their land for agritourism to complement their existing businesses. The simplified planning rules will help landowners to add value to their existing agricultural operations and encourages the next generation to farm the land.

    In April 2021, while the proposed changes were on public exhibition, DSSS provided a submission to the Department. Read more about our position, including full submission submitted and next steps product development project, along with useful industry resources.

    Find out more

    South Coast
    Centre of Excellence

    The Centre of Excellence is an industry-led project for the South Coast of NSW (covering the LGAs of Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and Bega Valley) to create a pipeline of skilled workers for businesses and provide career pathways for local staff. By addressing workforce skills shortages in the hospitality and tourism sector, and focusing on improving high-value service offerings, the project aim is to encourage visitors to stay longer and spend more.

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    Export Ready Industry Development Program

    A major project for DSSS that initially commence in 2019 however was paused due to bushfires and COVID, the rescoped project aims to align to original intentions while driving industry development and building opportunities as international markets return. Key project activities include product audit of existing offering, series of workshops and mentoring, as well as content and self-drive itinerary development.

    Find out more

    Business Events Industry Development

    Designed to support skills development and the sharing of resources with operators that could leverage the benefits of hosting business events in this region, either directly or indirectly.

    Delivered in early 2022, the project included a series of industry workshops, a mentor program and development of a business events checklist for the DSSS region.

    Find out more

    Great South Coast Walk

    The ‘Great South Coast Walk’ (GSCW) is a concept that connects over 660km of existing and proposed coastal walking tracks on the NSW South Coast, stretching from Bundeena on the southern fringe of Sydney to Mallacoota in Victoria. This project seeks to create a brand identity and establish market position for the GSCW. This umbrella brand will bring together and leverage a series of established walks allowing greater cohesion and marketability of the existing assets.

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    Illawarra Escarpment Walk

    The Illawarra Escarpment Walking Trail has been an ongoing project since initially proposed in 1971 by the Combined Committee of the Illawarra Natural History Society and the South Coast Conservation Society (South Coast Society NSW et al, 1971). Various reports since 1971 have been developed to discuss the potential options and opportunities that such a track would provide to the Illawarra region. Through linking Otford and Cambewarra, the trail could utilise and capitalise on some of the existing infrastructure and tourism opportunities.

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    Our Board

    DSSS is led by a board of skills based directors:

    Lyndel Gray


    Mark Bourne


    Dave Campbell


    Libby Cupitt


    Roger Stephan


    The Team

    Shannan Perry-Hall

    General Manager

    0418 776 640

    Aaron Matis

    Industry Development Manager

    0402 324 951

    Tash McQueen

    Business and Partnership Specialist

    0448 437 052

    Our Partner

    Destination Sydney Surrounds South is proudly supported by Destination NSW

    Acknowledgement of Country

    Destination Sydney Surrounds South acknowledges the Aboriginal Nations and Aboriginal People of the Sydney Surrounds South region as the traditional carers and custodians of the land that we all now live and work on.We pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging. Destination Sydney Surrounds South values the diversity of this region and works in partnership with local Aboriginal communities to respectfully celebrate and share Aboriginal culture with visitors to the region and also with locals who live here.

    Image credit: Kramer Photography, Destination NSW