Destination Download – June 2021

Welcome to our latest industry update!

A big thank you to everyone who joined us for the Visitor Economy Symposium at Novotel Wollongong Northbeach recently. We were so excited to have a great combination of industry stakeholders in the room, including Steve Cox, CEO of Destination NSW.
The conversations that went on and energy in the room was amazing, so thank you!

There’s nothing like a bit of friendly competition, so we had a bit of fun at the Symposium to find a new name for our updates. Congratulations to guest speaker Michael McQueen, who was crowned most popular name suggestion with ‘Destination Download‘. 
Special shout out goes to Lisa Kelsey from Shellharbour Tourism and Demi McGregor from Shoalhaven Tourism, for their name creativity on the day! 
Keep an eye out for the fresh new look updates, coming to your inbox very soon.

Don’t forget to encourage your networks to join our mailing list, simply forward this email on and they can click on the ‘registration’ link. Between updates you’ll find us on the socials – head over to follow us on LinkedIn and we’re now on Instagram too!

We look forward to seeing you very soon, while we’re out and about.

Chat soon,
The DSSS team

Pictured: DSSS Visitor Economy Symposium. (The Name Game, credit: Hamish Ta Me at Bowral Beekeeping)

In this edition:


Berrima awarded NSW Top Tourism Town

A shout out to Berrima, who has been voted NSW’s Top Tourism Town with a population less than 5,000 residents. Chosen by the public and an industry panel, the winners were announced at Local Government NSW’s Destination and Visitor Economy Conference in Port Macquarie recently. Congratulations also to all of the finalists and winners!

Full list of award winners: 

Top Tourism Town population less than 5000 residents 

Top Tourism Town population greater than 5000 residents 

Judges Choice Awards 

NSW Tourism Awards return in 2021

The NSW Tourism Industry Council have announced the NSW Tourism Awards are officially open. Award categories capture a range of tourism services across the broader Visitor Economy, with two new awards introduced for 2021 to recognise emerging talent in the sector via the Young Achiever in Tourism Award and the important role of local government with the introduction of the Local Government Award for Excellence in Tourism.

Potential entrants in the NSW Tourism Awards are invited to join an interactive live webinar with Travel Journalist and Sydney Weekender presenter, Rose Jacobs, leading an industry panel featuring:

  • Hall of Fame winner 2018, Brenda Miley, Lets Go Surfing
  • Gold winner 2018, 2019 Cameron D’Arcy, Sierra Escape Mudgee
  • Chair of Judges NSW Tourism Awards Natalie Bramble
  • Chair of Judges, Canberra Region Tourism Awards Phillip Jones

The NSW Tourism Awards are presented in partnership with the NSW Government and Destination NSW, with the final date for submissions Wednesday 8 September 2021.

To register for the webinar and nominate for the NSW Tourism Awards, visit the Business NSW website.

NSW Dine & Discover extended

The NSW Government’s Dine & Discover initiative will be extended by a month until 31 July 2021 to give people more time to use all of their vouchers eating out or trying a new activity this winter, including in the upcoming school holidays. The latest data shows more than 4.23 million people have downloaded the vouchers since they were launched in March spending a combined total of more than $357 million with registered businesses when adding in the additional spend on top of the voucher amount.

Every adult in NSW is eligible for four $25 vouchers worth $100 in total, to spend across the 14,000 participating businesses. Dining out has been particularly popular, along with adventure businesses which have also benefited as have cultural institutions such as galleries and museums. Read the full media release.

New Meet in Regional NSW operator portal launched

Destination NSW has announce the launch of a new operator portal on its regional business events website Suppliers and venues can now list their business profile, for event planners and organisers who are looking to hold a corporate event or conference in regional NSW.

The new portal will enable operators to login and build their business profile, to change images, upload videos, update contact information, and edit venue capacity charts.
For further information visit the MeetInNSW website or contact Destination NSW’s Regional Conferencing Team.

LGNSW 2021 Destination and Visitor Economy Conference

Port Macquarie recently welcomed more than 250 local government representatives and industry professionals for a three-day conference to discuss ways of enhancing the visitor economy and creating new jobs across NSW.  An annual event, the Local Government NSW’s (LGNSW) 2021 Destination and Visitor Economy Conference expanded its scope this year to include a strong focus on the major role which councils play in economic development within their communities.  

Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres and Destination NSW CEO Steve Cox both delivered keynote addresses, with Steve Cox outlining opportunities for local government to support the delivery of the NSW Visitor Economy Strategy 2030. Delegates also had the opportunity to visit, listen and learn from several local tourism operators as part of site inspections which were integrated into the conference program. The theme for the 2021 conference was ‘Creating Destinations for Living, Learning, Visiting and Investing’. 

Tourism Australia launches fourth Reconciliation Action Plan

Tourism Australia recently launched its fourth Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) on Larrakia country in Darwin. The RAP outlines Tourism Australia’s vision for Reconciliation, and as part of their RAP and ongoing work in the Indigenous portfolio, their aim is to significantly increase our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism trade and consumer activity.
This work includes the Discover Aboriginal Experiences program. Download the RAP.

More support for the Australian tourism and hospitality sectors

The Federal Government recently announced increased support for Australia’s tourism and hospitality sector by providing more visa flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic period. The changes include:

  • removal of existing work hour caps for Student Visa holders employed in the tourism and hospitality sectors
  • Temporary visa holder will be able to access the 408 COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa for a period of 12 months if they work in the tourism and hospitality sectors

Read the full media release. Migration Agents True Blue Migration Services have prepared an overview ‘Visa Win for Hospitality’ to assist industry in understanding the changes.

Greater benefits for operators in NSW National Parks

Nature-based tour operators will now find it easier and cheaper to re-start their businesses after the catastrophic 2019-20 bushfires and will also receive support for surging visitation as a result of the COVID pandemic.

Environment Minister, Matt Kean recently announced that from 1 July, commercial tour operators will be offered a once-off upfront discount on their licence and a package of support to help them recover from the bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read the full media release.

Historic agreement marks NSW first blueprint for Crown Land

Some of the State’s most significant public assets will be transformed into iconic tourism destinations under a historic agreement between Destination NSW and Crown Lands.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed last week by Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey and Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres to transform Crown reserves into tourism hubs. The agreement marks the launch of NSW’s first-ever State Strategic Plan for Crown Land. Read the full media release.

NSW tourism operators invited to benefit from Tripadvisor partnership

Tripadvisor is calling for NSW businesses engaged in the visitor economy to join the platform to benefit from a 10-week partnership campaign with Destination NSW. 
To join Tripadvisor, visit the supplier portal and click ‘get started’.  

Industry insights – Tourism Businesses Report

Tourism Research Australia has released a report on Australia’s 300,000 plus tourism businesses from June 2015 to June 2020. This report includes data up to and including June 2020, capturing:

  • the 2019-20 summer bushfires
  • the effects of domestic travel restrictions
  • the decline in international visitors from March 2020

Wollondilly Events & Visitor Economy Planning Proposal – have your say

Wollondilly Shire Council is calling for feedback on the planning proposal to amend their Local Environmental Plan 2011 to support Events & the Visitor Economy. Council is proposing to make it easier to celebrate in Wollondilly, particularly for destination weddings, overnight stays, events and markets. This planning proposal will achieve this by updating the land use planning controls so that a more diverse range of development can happen, particularly on rural land, while managing the potential impacts.Read the full proposal and have your sayComments close 7 July 2021.

2021 Volunteer of the Year Awards

The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards celebrate the efforts of the state’s volunteers across seven different award categories.
More than 3,000 guests, families and friends attend ceremonies at 25 locations across regional and suburban centres to celebrate the regional winners of the volunteer awards, with finalists invited to the Gala State Ceremony in Sydney for the announcement of the final winners and overall NSW Volunteer of the Year. 

Nominations are now open and close 5pm, 9 July 2021.


Eat More NSW Seafood Grant Program 2021

A grassroots-driven campaign to put NSW seafood on more plates in more restaurants and at more events has been unveiled by the State Government and industry. The NSW Government will deliver $500,000 in grants, under the Eat More NSW Seafood Program 2021, for industry stakeholders to promote their fresh, local produce.
Applicants are encouraged to organise an event, run a marketing campaign or just focus on selling more local catches with funding to be delivered in two streams, including grants for small scale projects (under $10,000) and grants for large scale projects ($10,000-$100,000).

Seafood businesses, industry association and commercial fishers can apply until 30 June 2021.

Stronger Country Communities Fund

A further $100 million in funding will be made available for vital community infrastructure and programs through round four of the Stronger Country Communities Fund, with up to $50 million targeted at projects that deliver and enhance female sporting facilities and promote female participation in sports. Read Program GuidelinesApplications close 25 June 2021. For more information, including guidelines and FAQ’s click here

Business Events Boost Program

Tourism Australia’s Business Events Boost Program provides funding and expertise to industry-led marketing and distribution projects which help restart business events in Australia, to support industry recovery from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 
For full details of the program download the Business Events Boost Program Prospectus.
Applications close 30 June 2021

Indigenous Languages & Arts Program

Supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to express, preserve and maintain their cultures through languages and arts activities around Australia.
Read more on the Australian Government website.
Applications close 21 June 2021.

Aboriginal Benefits Foundation Grants

Provides grants to assist Aboriginal communities and individuals, with the current focus on supporting art, literacy, education, health and cultural projects with a connection to Aboriginal art and/or artists. Read more on the Aboriginal Benefits Foundation Trust website. Applications close 1 September 2021.

Regional Wine Industry Fund

The NSW Government and NSW Wine Industry Association recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will deliver support to producers and provide a renewed focus on increasing exports and regional industry development.
The MOU includes a range of support measures and commitments with an equivalent value of more than $3 million through to June 2023. Read more.

Brew Rocket Grant

Craft Instinct in partnership with BentSpoke Brewing Co, The Crafty Pint, Rapid Labels, Suntap Decals and Peach Business Management, are offering a full brand development package to a start up brewery that has an environmental and/or social enterprise focus at the centre of their brand. The project is designed to give the successful application the boost it needs to succeed and ultimately, make a positive impact in the world. Applications close 31 August 2021. Read more.


24-Hour Economy Masterclass for Councils

The Office of the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner is working with the Night Time Economy Councils’ Committee (NTECC) to deliver a masterclass on ways councils can leverage the 24-Hour Economy Strategy to help build a vibrant nightlife for their communities.

Council officers working in economic development, placemaking and urban design, strategy, policy and research, planning and regulation, culture and creativity, services, infrastructure and safety are encouraged to attend. The masterclass will be held on 23 June from 10am until 4pm at Sydney Startup Hub. Places are limited to two attendees per council. Register to attend here

Event Management Scholarship

Up and coming event managers across the State will have the opportunity to benefit from one of 18 scholarships funded by the NSW Government and delivered in partnership with Meetings and Events Australia.

The Diploma of Event Management will be delivered by Meetings and Events Australia via an online learning tool, enabling students to access the program remotely and complete the tasks at their own pace. Scholarship applications are now open and close on Sunday 4 July 2021. For more information and to apply visit the Meet in NSW website.

Wellness Tourism Unearthed

Wellness Tourism Unearthed a new industry event will be held from 2-3 August 2021 in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. The event is designed to engage and upskill the wellness and tourism industry. Targeted at tourism operators and/or wellness operators who are looking to branch into the wellness tourism segment and understand how to position and target this growth sector. The event is supported bushfire recovery grants from the Government of South Australia and the Australian Government. Register here.

Australian Festival Industry Conference 2021

The Australian Festival Industry Conference (AFIC), Australia’s only conference for festival management personnel, will return on Wednesday 1 – Friday 3 September and be held at a new destination being Sea World Resort on the Gold Coast. The expanded conference program across 2.5 days will feature a number of presentations, panel discussions and workshops. Read Media Release.