Destination Download | December 2021

In our final Destination Download for the year, you’ll find the latest industry news, funding and support announcements, as well as business and skills development opportunities, plus some exciting updates on our projects.

2021 was another rollercoaster ride (the scary, I don’t want to do that again, type!) but we strapped in and the ability for our industry to support each other, find new ways of doing business and continue with a sense of determination, is remarkable.

The DSSS team have had the pleasure of working with many of you, we managed to squeeze in one face to face industry events and then went virtual with five industry support events during lockdown. We also worked with over 170 stakeholders to submit funding applications and secured over $1,285,000 in external funding for regional projects.
Our monthly EDM, LinkedIn and Instagram have seen strong audience growth, and we look forward to continuing to share information and opportunities. The DSSS website has had a facelift, you can now find our project briefings, funding opportunities and industry news in one user friendly place.

The DSSS team wish you all the best for the busy holiday season and we look forward to continuing to work with you and supporting our industry in 2022.

We’re taking a short break, otherwise between our updates you’ll find us on the socials – follow us on LinkedIn and find us on Instagram. As always you can also share our updates by simply forwarding this email and your contacts can register here to join our mailing list.

Take care and talk soon,
The DSSS team
Header image: Man swimming with a seal during a snorkelling tour with Dive Jervis Bay. Credit: Destination NSW.
In this edition:
News & Announcements

South Coast Centre of Excellence: EOI for Expert Steering Committee now open

DSSS is calling for expressions of interest from industry professionals to join the Expert Steering Comittee for the 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.

Expressions of interest close 5pm, Monday 10th January 2022. 

Read more and submit a response here.

Business Events Mentoring Program: EOI opening soon

DSSS was pleased to recently announce details of the Business Events Mentor Program. A key component of the Business Events Industry Development project, the Mentor Program will be delivered by project partners and business event specialists Mayvin Global. Held across two rounds, the Mentor Program will include tailored one-on-one and small group coaching sessions over an 8-week period with delivery timeframes as follows:

  • Group One: February to March 2022
  • Group Two: May to June 2022

A total of 15 places are available and businesses must be located in the DSSS region to be eligible to apply. Expressions of interest to participate will open in January 2022.

Staying COVID Safe this Summer

As we head into the summer and holiday season, more people will be moving around our state. To support accommodation providers and other businesses hosting holidaymakers maintain COVID safe behaviours and compliance, the NSW Government have developed a toolkit/information pack to help commercial and short term accommodation businesses prepare to welcome guests in a COVID safe way.

The pack includes tailorable content including newsletter and web copy, social media assets and posters to help communicate with businesses, staff and guests.

National visitor economy strategy: THRIVE 2030 consultation

The Australian Government has released a proposed strategy for the visitor economy, THRIVE 2030 (The Re-Imagined Visitor Economy), and Austrade is asking for stakeholders to share their feedback and input.

The strategy will be the national long-term plan to rebuild and return the visitor economy to long-term sustainable growth. It includes actions for both governments and industry.

Share your feedback on THRIVE 2030 by sending a written submission (due 5pm on 23 December 2021) or by completing the 5-minute survey (closes 5pm on 3 January 2022).

EV Chargers for regional hotels and motels

Carmaker MG has announced it will donate 1,000 electric vehicle chargers to regional and rural motels and hotels. The chargers are set to be delivered within 12 months and won’t only be accessible for MG drivers.

The chargers will be fitted with the now Type 2 plug standard, the 7kW (single phase) and 11kW (three phase) so visitors can charge up an electric vehicle overnight while the driver sleeps. MG has also flagged that if the program is successful it could be extended to other types of hospitality providers.

NSW Superyacht Guide to attract lucrative market

The NSW Government through Destination NSW has released the NSW Superyacht Guide which features some South Coast marinas and destination.

The guide is a comprehensive handbook to the more than 2,000 kms of spectacular NSW coastline with premium marinas to welcome superyachts of varying sizes. The guide, which features information on superyacht and tender access points, was developed in collaboration with Superyacht Australia, Transport for NSW, Port Authority of New South Wales and Department of Primary Industries.

In the most recent economic impact assessment on the Australian superyacht industry, it was valued at $1.97 billion, including a tourism value of $190 million. 

Image: Killalea State Park, Shell Cove. Credit: Destination NSW.

Killalea Reserve gets Parks protection

One of the Illawarra’s most popular destinations, Killalea State Park, will be added to the NSW National Parks estate, creating one of NSW’s newest Regional Parks.

The Park is home to diverse vegetation types that support nine endangered ecological communities and provides habitat for many bird species. Migratory shorebirds such as the Sooty and Pied Oyster Catcher are also known to nest at Killalea.

National Parks and Wildlife Service will develop a new Plan of Management for Killalea Regional Park when the transfer takes place, working with local residents, Aboriginal groups, Council, the surfing community and environmental groups.

Read the full media release.

Shellharbour Airport wins Small Regional Airport of the Year

National award recognises best Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) airport Shellharbour Airport has been named Australia’s best Small Regional RPT Airport at the Australian Airport Association’s (AAA) National Airport Industry Awards 2021.

The airport was also recognised for its environmental sustainably practices, receiving a highly commended sustainability award.

Read the full media release.

Access ‘Feel New’ campaign assets in the Destination NSW Resource Hub

Leverage Destination NSW’s Feel New campaign in your own marketing, the Resource Hub is where industry, trade and partners can access and download marketing resources for promotional purposes. Assets include brand guidelines, industry toolkits, campaign logos and images.

Image: Destination NSW.

Dine & Discover extended

The NSW Government’s Dine & Discover initiative has been extended to give more time for residents to use all of their vouchers. Vouchers are now valid through to 30 June 2022. Residents have also been given an additional 2 vouchers. If you have already received your first 4 vouchers, you do not need to reapply for the new vouchers.  Businesses can still register to be part of the program and accept vouchers.

Image: Destination NSW.

Funding Opportunities

Round 6 of the Building Better Regions Fund

The $1.38 billion Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) supports the Australian Government’s commitment to create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities into the future.

Two funding streams are now taking applications as part of Round 6 with $250 million available:

  • Community Investments Stream
    Supports new or expanded local events, strategic regional plans or leadership and capability strengthening activities that provide economic and social benefits to regional and remote areas.
    Grants of $5,000 to $1 million to cover 50% or more of eligible project costs.
  • Infrastructure Projects Stream
    Supports projects that involve the construction of new infrastructure, or the upgrade or extension of existing infrastructure.
    Grants of $20,000 to $10 million to cover 50% or more of eligible project costs.  

Applications close at 5pm, Thursday 10th February 2022.

NSW Boating Now

Registrations of Interest for Round 4 of Boating Now Program are now open!
The NSW Boating Now Program provides grant funding to improve maritime infrastructure and facilities across NSW, including boat ramps, pontoons, sewage pump-outs and passive craft launching facilities. Read more here.

Support extended for small and medium sized businesses

The SME Recover Loan Scheme has been extended by a further six months to 30 June 2022. SMEs who are dealing with the economic impacts of COVID-19 with a turnover of less than $250 million will be able to access loans of up to $5 million over a term of up to 10 years. 
Read more here.

Destination NSW Tourism Product Development Fund

Program Reminder | Applications for the $2.5M Experience Development Fund are now open and close at midnight on 16 January 2022.
Read more and apply here.

NSW Regional Business Event Development Fund

Program Reminder | Designed to help stakeholders create, attract and support exciting business events for regional NSW and to support new business event initiatives. The program includes four streams:

  • Creation of a new business event  
  • Attraction of an existing business event  
  • Support for an existing business event  
  • Support for a business event project 

Applications are now open. Those submitted by 5pm Monday 31 January 2022 will be assessed on a first-come-first-served basis until the funds have been expended. Read more and apply here.

New $5,000 Alfresco Rebate

Hospitality businesses across the state can register for the NSW Government’s $5,000 Alfresco Restart Rebate with the program now live. Businesses will be able to claim eligible expenses incurred from 14 October 2021 to 30 April 2022.
Claims must be made by 30 April 2022. 
Read more here.

Create NSW funding information session

Festival organisations, artists and groups are invited to join a webinar with Create NSW staff, Artform Board Members and previous successful funding applicants to discuss Round Two of the Arts and Cultural Funding Program. Attendees will find out about the application process, how to put a competitive application forward and have the opportunity to ask questions. Register here.


Regional Arts Fund: Cultural Tourism Accelerator Program

A $5 million targeted measure announced by the Australian Government as part of the Regional Arts Tourism package, which will enable arts organisations to promote and develop cultural events for tourists across regional Australia. 
Read more and apply here.

2022/2023 LGA Arts and Cultural Projects

This funding will give local councils the opportunity to deliver exceptional arts and cultural projects, activities, and events for communities across NSW. Applications close Monday 24 January 2022 for projects that will occur between 1 July 2022 and 31 December 2023.
Read more and apply here.

EEC Program – Food & Beverage Manufacturing Business Grants

Small and medium food and beverage manufacturing enterprises can apply for up to $25,000 to improve energy efficiency practices and technologies and better manage energy consumption to reduce their power bills.
Read more and apply here.

Modern Manufacturing Initiative programs

The Modern Manufacturing Initiative – Food and Beverage aims to double the value of Australia’s Food and Beverage manufacturing through a focus on smart food and beverage manufacturing; innovative foods and beverages; and food safety, origin and traceability system.
Two streams of funding are available:

Applications close at 5pm on Friday 14 January 2022.

Culture, heritage and arts regional tourism grant

Program reminder | The Culture, Heritage and Arts Regional Tourism (CHART) program aims to support community cultural, heritage and arts organisations in regional Australia as they recover from impacts of COVID-19. 
Applications close when the funding allocation has been expended or on 29 April 2022, whichever is sooner.
Read more and apply here.

Industry Insights

National Visitor Survey results released for September 2021

Tourism Research Australia (TRA) has released its monthly snapshot of the National Visitor Survey for September 2021. Lockdowns continued across NSW, Victoria and the ACT.
Australians took 248,000 interstate overnight trips, down 93% when compared to September 2019. Intrastate travel suffered less but was still at low levels.

Regional areas also saw falls less than those experienced in capital cities for overnight trips and visitor spend. In NSW, visitor spend hit its lowest since April 2020 at $170 million.

Domestic tourism five-year forecasts to 2025-26 released

TRA has also released domestic tourism forecasts for the five-year period 2021-22 to 2025-26 that combine quantitative modelling and expert analysis. The report summarises the outlook for domestic tourism and how the industry is expected to recover from the downturn of the past 2 years. The report also outlines domestic visitor nights, trips and spend, purpose of travel, and state and territory domestic tourism nights.

New research from Airbnb & Economist Impact

Conscious travel is on the cards for Aussie travellers who want to travel in ways that positively benefit local communities both economically and socially, new research shows. About half of respondents (45%) plan to travel more frequently to rural destinations while 69% of Australians said they would be more likely to head to destinations that are not crowded, with a similar proportion (67%) agreeing they will be more likely to look for ways to travel that allow them to avoid crowded spaces.

Business + Skills Development, Events, Resources

Australian Tourism Exchange 2022

ourism Australia will deliver Australia’s largest trade event, the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), in Sydney in 2022. It will be a hybrid event again following the success of 2021 with an in-person event to take place at ICC Sydney from 15 to 18 May and ATE Online from 24 to 26 May to connect those unable to travel to Australia. 

Applications are open for the event which gives tourism operators a chance to meet and do business with travel wholesalers and agents from around Australia and the world.

Webinars: Facebook & Instragram for Tourism Businesses

A series of five free Facebook and Instagram for Tourism webinars featuring presenters from Facebook and the Destination NSW social media team, is ongoing as part of the NSW First program. Past webinars are free to access on-demand.

On-demand training: How to make sustainability your business

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) together with Ecotourism Australia present a two-part sustainability training program, available on-demand.
The training modules include, Module 1: Environmental Sustainability and Module 2: Economic and Socio-Cultural Sustainability along with the applicable tools and resources required for business planning.

The training is free of charge to ATEC and Ecotourism Australia members, a small fee of $50 + GST applies for non-members. Register here.

Free Tourism Training on offer for holiday season

Critical skills shortages in the visitor economy are being addressed by the NSW Government, which is offering thousands of free training places across the state.

The program complements the nearly 250,000 free training places being funded under the joint state and federal JobTrainer program and adds to the NSW Government investment in free training recently announced for the retail and hospitality sectors.

Free courses available under the program include:

  • Outdoor Leadership (Basic Water Rescues, Snorkel, Lead Snorkeling, Paddle and Lead Stand Up Board on Inland Flatwater)
  • Tourism Product Design and Promotion
  • Hospitality (Interact with Customers, Safe Work Practices and Visitor Information, Housekeeping, Responsible Service of Alcohol, Social/Cultural Sensitivity)
  • Outdoor Recreation (Vertical Rescues, Abseil, Establish Ropes and Lead Single Pitch Abseiling on Natural Surfaces)
  • Bicycle Servicing
  • Swimming and Water Safety Teacher
  • Infection control
Read more and explore other fee-free courses available, here.

Digital solutions mentoring program

Industry stakeholders are able to access seven hours of business mentorship for just $44 through the Federal Government’s Digital Solutions program.
The new programs pairs businesses with a dedicated mentor and provides access to one-on-one advice, world-class workshops and online webinars on everything from social media and marketing to bookkeeping and business planning. Read more here.

Destination Australia Conference 2022

Tourism Australia will host the annual Destination Australia conference on Thursday 3 March 2022 at CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park. With Australia’s tourism industry enduring this incredibly challenging period, the 2022 event will inspire you, with high profile speakers discussing lessons learnt, sharing future focused trends and highlighting emerging opportunities.

Destination Australia will also be offered online for those unable to attend in person. Following the conference, Tourism Australia will host an industry networking event at one of Australia’s most iconic sporting stadiums, the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Read more and register here.