Destination Sydney Surrounds South (DSSS) has also commenced the implementation of the strategies identified in our DMP following an allocation of $500,000 from the NSW Government on the key projects that have the potential to deliver both short and long-term results for industry. Of greatest importance are borderless and game changer projects that unify activities and create partnerships across the network delivering to visitors 365 days a year.
A key project will be focussed on the international and domestic free independent traveller (FIT) markets where growth potential is high. The zone’s share of international overnight FIT is below the state average and has the potential to fill off peak and mid-week periods and with our proximity to major gateways of Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, DSSS is well placed to take advantage of the high yielding self-drive international market. The development of multi-night itineraries to stimulate longer stays along the Grand Pacific Drive, Sydney to Melbourne Coastal and Heritage routes through the Southern Highlands including links to Canberra and leveraging partnership to promote itineraries and packages online with self-drive hire companies, accommodation providers, airlines and ITOs and working with local industry to ensure market readiness via Destination NSW and other programmes.
As DSSS supports ‘all of tourism industry’ across the six Local Government areas, we have commissioned an audit to identify products and experiences to match consumer trends and needs. This will enable us to engage with a greater number of industry operators on opportunities such as funding, training, product development and marketing opportunities.
Career pathways through skills and training is another area that we will be collaborating with partners such as Universities and TAFE to ensure we convey the future industry stars into our industry.
We continue to engage with members of parliament and local councils on the importance of the visitor economy to the economic and social fabric of communities. A whole of government approach is needed to ensure the supply can meet the demand and provide the jobs required in regional areas.
Globally, travellers are seeking great local experiences and genuine personal connections to enhance their visit to regional NSW, the onus is on the local industry to provide the friendly ‘localhood’ welcoming that deliver on the needs of our visitors.
I encourage you, your family and friends to continue supporting your local businesses across the region, particularly during these difficult drought conditions as they are the ‘face of industry’ providing unique experiences and services that attract visitors to our region.
Join us on the journey as we know that the NSW visitor economy is everyone’s business.
Chair, Destination Sydney Surrounds South