Stakeholder Update | May 2021


Welcome to our latest industry update!

Announcements and changes over the last 24 hours are a reminder to us all as we continue to navigate the journey of ‘COVID normal’. We encourage everyone to stay kind to one another and work together during this time. Read more about the current rules and restrictions for Greater Sydney.

There continues to be a significant number of grant funding opportunities around for industry recovery, product development, and events – we’ve included some of these in our update below. If you’re looking to apply for any of these programs, we strongly encourage you to read the funding guidelines and reach out to us.
We’d love to hear about your project or event, and we may also be able to guide you with your application. For Destination NSW programs please contact Aaron, for other projects and funding opportunities, please contact Shannan. 

We are so excited to be hosting our Visitor Economy Symposium in Wollongong on Wednesday 19th May, joining us on the day is Steve Cox, Destination NSW CEO and a stellar lineup of guest speakers. Places for the event are limited, register now to secure your place and we look forward to seeing you there!

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to catch up while we are out and about in region.

Chat soon,
The DSSS team

In this edition:

The countdown is on!

Places are filling fast for the upcoming Visitor Economy Symposium, the third and final in the current series of events.

Hear an update from NSW Tourism Minister, the Hon Stuart Ayres MP and joining us will be Steve Cox, CEO at Destination NSW. Back by popular demand is futurist Michael McQueen who’ll be sharing his insights in a hands-on innovation masterclass you won’t want to miss!

Supercharge your skills in a product development mentor session and introduction to the NSW First Program, with our Industry Development Manager, Aaron Matis and Jacqui Greaves, Regional Tourism Development Manager at Destination NSW. Featuring operator case study presentations, the afternoon session offering practical advice is a must-attend.

WHEN: Wednesday 19th May, 2021 (networking event to follow)
WHERE: Novotel Northbeach, Wollongong

Numbers are limited and registration is essential for this free event. Register here.


Top Tourism Towns Revealed – Voting Now Open

Voting is now open for the inaugural Top Tourism Town Awards for NSW, with 42 ambitious towns from across the State now in the running to take out this prestigious award.

Public voting is open until 14 May 2021. The winners will be announced at the Local Government NSW Destination & Visitor Economy Conference on 27 May 2021. 
To see the finalists and vote visit the Business NSW website

Review of NSW Heritage Act

The NSW Government has undertaken the first steps to review and modernise NSW Heritage legislation. The review is designed to make it easier, more affordable, and more desirable to own a State significant heritage property. The community is encouraged to have their say on the discussion paper and proposed reforms.

Changes to National Parks passes in NSW

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service is transitioning to digital passes for access to the state’s 45 national parks which charge entry fees.

From 20 April 2021, all annual passes will transition to digital products which will continue to be linked to a park visitor’s vehicle. The new digital pass will make it easier to pay entry fees, manage and renew annual passes online and apply for concessions. Digital day passes will also be introduced in phases across the state over the next 24 months.

Pictured: Couple enjoying panoramic views across to Pigeon House Mountain (Didthul) in Morton National Park. Credit: Destination NSW

Mid-week specials in NSW National Parks

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service recently launched a special offer to encourage mid-week visitors with savings of 50% off selected campgrounds and 25% off selected cabins and cottages.

Offers are available when booking to stay mid-week Monday – Thursday between 21 April and 16 September 2021. See the locations and book now on the NPWS website.

Dine & Discover program now live statewide

Have you registered for Dine & Discover? It’s the NSW Government’s major economic stimulus program for dining, arts and tourism businesses which have been impacted by COVID-19, and will encourage customers to get out and about safely.

Residents of NSW aged 18 and over will be eligible for $100 worth of vouchers to be used at participating NSW businesses who are registered as COVID safe. The program is now rolling out statewide and operators can join anytime before it ends on 30 June 2021.

Register your business now.

Pie Time 2021 – out of the oven and onto the plate

The Southern Highlands is gearing up for another exciting installment of the region’s iconic ‘Pie Time’. The month-long celebration of Australia’s iconic food will run for the entire month of June, kicking off on Australia’s National Pie Day on 1 June.
For more information on Pie Time visit the Destination Southern Highlands website.  


Kickstart 2021 Sydney Business Events Fund

Grants of up to $45,000 for one-day events and up to $90,000 for two-day events in Greater Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, matched dollar-for-dollar by event organisers. Applications are now open and close 5pm (AEST) Monday 31st May 2021 (or until funding is fully allocated). For information visit the BESydney website.

Regional Events Acceleration Fund

The NSW Government’s $20 million Regional Events Acceleration Fund is now open. There are two streams of funding with $50,000 to $200,000 available per grant. Applications close at 5pm on Friday 17 December 2021, or when funding is fully committed. For further information visit the NSW Government website.

Regional Business Event Development Fund

An additional round worth $1.5 million was recently announced for the Regional Business Event Development Fund: including grants of up to $15,000 for events with up to 150 delegates, and up to $30,000 for events with more than 150 delegates.

Tourism Industry Marketing Support package

$1 million in funding is available to eligible applicants. Destination NSW will match dollar-for-dollar between $10,000 and $50,000 for operators to deliver marketing activities to promote visitor experiences, attractions, tours and accommodation. Applications are now open and close at 5pm (AEDT) on 13 May 2021. For more information visit the Destination NSW website.

Regional Job Creation Fund

The $100 million Regional Job Creation Fund supports existing businesses in regional NSW to grow and encourages interstate or overseas businesses to invest in regional NSW.
Preliminary applications close 5pm next Friday 14th May 2021 or when the program is fully allocated.

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.

NSW Export Assistance Grant

The NSW Export Assistance Grant helps eligible export businesses in NSW access global markets. If you are an exporting business, or if you were exporting goods or services before the impacts of COVID-19, bushfires or drought, you may be eligible for an export assistance grant.

Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand Fund

The Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund provides targeted funding assistance for arts and entertainment sector organisations seeking to restart, re-imagine or create new or re-shaped cultural and creative activities and events including festival, concerts and tours. Applications are now open and close 31 December 2021.

Tourism Product Design + Promotion online course

TAFE NSW is offering a fully subsidised, 6 week online course on Tourism Experience Design and Marketing. The accredited training is designed to assist entry to industry, upskill and support diversification.
The next round of the course begins Thursday 20th May 2021. For more information visit the TAFE NSW website.

Free Hospitality Training at NSW Clubs

The NSW Government has announced jobseekers across the state will have access to free hospitality training to address growing skills shortages in the regional hospitality industry. This will be piloted in clubs across the Upper Hunter, giving unemployed locals an opportunity to reskill for a job in a club. For further information visit the Training Services NSW website.

LGNSW Destination and Visitor Economy Conference

The Local Government NSW (LGNSW) Destination and Visitor Economy Conference will be held from 26-28 May 2021 in Port Macquarie where Destination NSW CEO Steve Cox and guest speakers will share insights into what makes for an effective destination strategy.
To register and for more information visit the LGNSW website.

Wellness Tourism Summit relaunched

Following postponement due to COVID in March 2020, the Wellness Tourism Summit team have been reshaping the event to deliver an inspiring and safe experience for the industry to be held in Noosa, QLD from 14-15 October 2021. Virtual tickets are now available for $195 with in-person tickets starting from $495. To register and for further information visit the Wellness Tourism Summit website.
Header images:
1. The Kiama Farmer’s Market. Credit: Destination NSW
2. The majestic Belmore Falls in Morton National Park in the Southern Highlands. Credit: Filippo Rivetti
3. Man swimming with a seal during a snorkelling tour with Dive Jervis Bay. Credit: Jordan Robins