Destination Download | November 2021

Welcome to our latest Destination Download, in this edition we share the latest industry updates, funding and support announcements, as well as business and skills development opportunities.

We hope you continue to be encouraged by the ever rising vaccination rates and with several big announcements made since our last update, we trust this momentum is providing optimism for the busy summer ahead.

With this anticipation comes various challenges and without a doubt, the most significant issue is accessing skilled staff. To assist with this, we are pleased to share in this update a new resource – the Visitor Economy Jobs and Skills Connector, developed to assist business owners in accessing support to fill jobs, and gain skills for current and new staff.

As always our team is doing their best to stay up to date with the latest announcements, industry support and grant funding programs, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Between our updates you’ll find us on the socials – head over to follow us on LinkedIn and you’ll also find us on Instagram. We also encourage you to share our updates with your networks, simply forward this email and they can register here.

Take care and talk soon,
The DSSS team
Header image: The scenic Belmore Falls waterfall in Morton National Park. Credit: Destination NSW.
In this edition:
News & Announcements

New tourism campaign to make you ‘Feel New’

Destination NSW has launched the new brand campaign, FEEL NEW, the first in more than a decade. The campaign unifies Sydney and regional NSW, bringing to life all the diverse feelings in the state that combine to make visitors feel new.

Tapping into the transformative powers and rich emotional benefits of travelling in NSW, the campaign promises a collision of natural wonders and vibrant culture that energises you long after.

A toolkit and resource hub has been developed to introduce the new visitor brand, and show you how you can make small changes to your marketing to align with the new brand campaign. Launched into market with a TV commercial, the campaign will be used for all Visit NSW marketing activity.

Tourism Australia launches new Gift of Travel campaign

The latest iteration of Tourism Australia’s domestic focused Holiday Here This Year campaign was launched recently to encourage Australians to give The Gift of Travel this festive season. As part of the campaign, Tourism Australia have developed a comprehensive holiday season hub and Gift Finder on that features tailored, giftable experiences and a variety of industry offers at all price points.

Operators are encouraged to participate in and benefit from the campaign activity by downloading the campaign toolkit and aligning marketing activity to support the campaign.

Read more about the campaign and how to get involved.

NSW Tourism Towns take home crown

A big congratulations to Berrima who recently won the Gold Medal for the Small Tourism Town (population under 5,000) at the inaugural Australian Top Tourism Towns Awards!

NSW is proudly home to the winners of both categories, with Mudgee taking home the top award for population over 5,000 people.

Read more about the Australian Top Tourism Town Awards.

Finalists for NSW Tourism Awards announced

We are pleased to congratulate the finalists from our region for the 2021 NSW Tourism Awards. A big congratulations to the following local finalists:

We wish them all the very best for the Gala Awards Event in Sydney in February 2022.

Read more about the 2021 Tourism Awards and the finalists.

Scholarships awarded to aspiring regional event managers

The NSW Government will provide Diploma of Event Management scholarships to 20 up-and coming event managers across regional NSW through a partnership with peak events industry body Meetings & Events Australia (MEA). 

Congratulations to the well deserving DSSS recipients:
  • Lucinda Thomas
  • Mark Thirlwall
  • Vanessa Borg
The scholarships are an initiative of the NSW Government’s $6 million Regional Conferencing Strategy and Action Plan. The 20 recipients were selected by a panel, which included representatives from the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, MEA and the state’s six Destination Networks. 

Read more about the scholarship and the 2021 recipients.

New digital one-stop-shop for visitor attraction signposting

A new digital one-stop-shop has streamlined the process for tourism businesses and councils to apply for white on brown tourism attraction signs, creating more opportunities to showcase their destinations.  

The Visitor Attraction Signposting Program, a partnership between Destination NSW and Transport for NSW, has been improved according to the guiding principles of the NSW Visitor Economy Strategy 2030 – putting the visitor first, leading with the state’s strengths, and accelerating digital innovation. Read more here.

First regional gallery for Southern Highlands

Ngununggula, the Southern Highlands’ first regional art gallery, has opened its inaugural exhibition program. Meaning “belonging” in the traditional language of the Gundungurra First Nation People, Ngununggula has opened to the public in what was the old dairy at Retford Park. Featuring a heritage-sensitive gallery design undertaken by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer and constructed by Richard Crookes Constructions, Ngununggula is surrounded by a landscaped garden created by Jane Irwin and a new café.

Under the leadership of Director Megan Monte, the new Gallery will capture the cultural vibrancy of the region through a dynamic curatorial program. With a focus on visual arts and education, the program will represent the region and beyond through exhibitions, live events, workshops, artist talks and public programs. Visit their site here.

Draft Marine Park Management Plan released

The NSW Government has released its draft Management Plan for the NSW Mainland Marine Park Network (2021-2031), which has been developed to guide the management of the state’s five existing mainland marine parks.

The five mainland marine parks in NSW include Cape Byron, Solitary Islands, Port Stephens-Great Lakes, Jervis Bay and Batemans marine parks. A management plan for Lord Howe Island Marine Park will be developed separately.
Read more and have your say.

Reminder to register Short-Term Holiday Rentals

Holiday home providers are reminded to register their properties. New rules for short-term rental accommodation (STRA) providers that came into effect on 1 November, requiring holiday homeowners to register their property before it is rented.

Along with registering their property, owners must also:

Read more and register now.

Funding Opportunities

Tourism Product Development Fund

Applications for the $1.6M Refresh and Renew Fund are now open and close midnight 9 December 2021.

The $2.5M Experience Development Fund will open for expressions of interest in the coming weeks.
Read more and apply here.

Regional Event Fund

Applications are open now for the following three streams:

  • Incubator Event stream, for the establishment of new events
  • Flagship Event stream, for the marketing of emerging events to increase their profile and encourage visitation
  • Event Development stream, for the strategic development of proven events as drivers of tourism

Applications for the Incubator and Flagship Event streams close at midnight on Sunday 5 December. The Event Development stream will remain open until available funds are exhausted.
Read more and apply here.

NSW Regional Business Event Development Fund

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.

Culture, heritage and arts regional tourism grant

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.

Clubgrants Infrastructure Grants: arts and culture

The Office of Responsible Gambling (ORG) offers funding for arts and cultural infrastructure, sport and recreation infrastructure and projects that assist communities with essential infrastructure and disaster readiness.
Applications are now open and close Monday 22 November 2021.
Read more and apply here.

Alfresco dining support for hospitality businesses

The streets of NSW will come alive post-lockdown, thanks to a raft of initiatives and $66 million in funding. The Alfresco Restart initiatives being rolled out from November includes temporary alfresco measures for outdoor dining in parks or on private land, $5000 grants to establish new alfresco settings and permanent outdoor dining as an exempt development for pubs and small bars state-wide.

Stronger Communities Programme

The Stronger Communities Programme supports the Australian Government’s commitment to deliver social benefits in communities across Australia. Round 7 of the program will provide $22.65 million to fund small capital projects in each of the 151 federal electorates. Round 7 of the program will continue to support Australia’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal Members of Parliament (MPs) identify potential projects and invite applications from their electorate. Closes 19 January 2022.

Industry Insights

Latest National Visitor Survey results released for August 2021

Tourism Research Australia has released the snapshot for the month of August 2021
It provides statistics on how Australian residents travelled in your state or territory and nationally during this period.

As expected, the impacts of COVID-19 continue to affect Australia’s domestic tourism market. The downturn experienced in June and July worsened in August as a result of increased lockdowns and border restrictions enforced in response to Delta outbreaks.

Results for September are unlikely to improve as lockdowns continued. However, with Australia beginning to ‘live with COVID-19’, October has seen restrictions start to ease. This brings hope of improved results for November and December 2021 and the new year.

Read more about August 2021 results.

Business + Skills Development, Events, Resources
Pictured: Showcasing local and native ingredients featured on the menu at Bangalay Dining, Shoalhaven Heads. Credit: Destination NSW.

New industry resource to assist employers to connect with staff

A new resource has been developed to support operators across the Illawarra and South Coast, to fill jobs and access skills for current and new staff.

Finding skilled staff is an common and overwhelming challenge, the Visitor Economy Jobs and Skills Connector aims to outline the various staff recruitment services and initiatives, as well as skills and training resources available for operators across the region.

Developed by sector stakeholders, including Destination Sydney Surrounds South, as part of the Local Jobs Program, you can access the useful industry resource here.

Free Summer Skills program for young people

Young people are being encouraged to boost their skills this summer and support the regions by getting job-ready. The Summer Skills program offers 10,000 free training places across more than 800 courses delivered by TAFE NSW and 120 registered training providers, to support critical industries – including hospitality and tourism.

The program is funded under the joint Federal and State JobTrainer program and is available to people aged 16 to 24 who have left school and are living or working in NSW. 

Read more about the program and courses available here.

National Online Jobs Fair for Hospitality and Tourism

The Federal Government is delivering a free National Online Jobs Fair for the Hospitality & Tourism sectors, the event is designed to support these sectors to re-engaged displaced workers.

Employers with current job vacancies are invited to attend free of charge as exhibitors, allowing operators to connect with enthusiastic job seekers with a variety of skills.

Exhibitors must commit to staffing their virtual booth for the full hours between their allocated time of 1pm to 5pm (times vary depending on where you are in Australia). 

WHEN: 1pm-5pm (AEDT), Thursday 25th November 2021
WHERE: Online, registrations essential

Submit an exhibitor expression of interest here. Read more about the virtual event here.

Sydney industry briefing by Tourism Australia

Tourism Australia is hosting a face-to-face industry briefing in Sydney on Monday 13 December. The free-of-charge briefing will be held at the Hyatt Regency Sydney at 3pm with registration commencing at 2.30pm. The briefing will be followed by networking drinks from 5pm to 6.30pm. Register to attend here.

Your Tourism Business Roadmap out of Lockdown in 3 steps

Tourism Tribe has developed a Tourism Business Roadmap out of Lockdown, which provides operators with the most necessary information and resources needed to re-target customers and
re-open business after many states have experienced months of pro-longed lockdowns.
Read more about new resource here.

Event Industry Bounce Back Chats

Hosted by Australian Regional Events Alliance (AREA), the regular event industry chats are back. Join the sessions to have direct access to an outstanding line up of marketing, strategy and event development guru’s from across the regional event industry – the Industry Bounce Back Chats are a chance for you to keep up to date and tackle problems in real time. Next chat is Friday 26th November, at 11am.
Read more and join the conversation here.