CoE Update | December 2023

Welcome to the latest Centre of Excellence Update

Over the past twelve months the Centre of Excellence has delivered 29 programs across the Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and Bega Valley attended by 792 tourism and hospitality operators and workers. We would like to share how these programs have impacted and supported local operators that will leave a legacy for the industry.

The Centre of Excellence’s Mentor Program was designed to match tourism and hospitality workers with industry leaders who provided coaching, support, advice, motivation, and exposure. These mentors served as a sounding board and role model, providing exposure to the wider industry beyond the mentee’s placement and expand the mentees’ professional networks.

We would like to thank the 50 Mentees and Mentors who participated in this program.
One Mentor commented,
“the program gave me confidence to speak about the industry with authority and taught me how much knowledge I have to share.”

The Mentees commented, “the program enabled them to set goals and take advantage of opportunities as they arise and gave good insights into the industry and great tips on moving forward and building and maintaining professional relationships in and out of the workplace.”

The Centre of Excellence partnered with TAFE NSW to offer a Scholarship Program open to hospitality workers currently working in the industry who wanted to complete a SIT30622 Certificate III in Hospitality qualification. The Scholarship was taken up by 18 local workers who will gain the qualification and be able start a career in hospitality.

The Centre of Excellence delivered five Wine & Spirit Education Trust Award courses in 2023 that has upskilled 85 customer facing workers in restaurants and cellar doors with a WSET level two qualification and an additional 10 at the level three which is one of the highest internationally recognised qualifications in the service of wine.
A series of three Tourism & Hospitality Experience Schools Days were delivered across the three regions designed to encourage high school students to consider a career in hospitality and tourism. More than 300 students participated in this program and we would like to thank the schools, career advisors and the teachers who co-ordinated the students to attend. The students indicated that 78 percent would be interested in exploring a career in tourism or hospitality which was a promising outcome for the industry.
In 2023 the Centre of Excellence conducted an additional seven Local Knowledge Famils to inform and educate the local tourism and hospitality workforce on the experiences and produce available to visitors in their own backyard.

These events included showcasing local produce, experience and attractions and more recently the Indigenous tourism experiences available on the NSW South Coast. We are delighted to confirm that these famils have produced three new Indigenous bookable experiences in the Bega Valley that will complement the onshore tourism options for the cruise passengers to experience while in the Port of Eden.
This is a snapshot of the many programs delivered and we would like to thank the industry for supporting these events and activities and hope that they have benefited your businesses and workforce to build capacity and develop much needed skills.

The Centre of Excellence page on the Destination Sydney Surrounds South website has a range of information on many of the programs the CoE has delivered over the past 18 months. This including recordings of professional development webinars held, plus video highlight reels and overview sheets for the local knowledge famils hosted, including details of each of the businesses that participated across the local produce, experiences and attractions, and Indigenous itineraries. 
This is one of the busiest times of year for tourism and hospitality businesses and we hope that you will have time to celebrate Christmas and New year with family and friends.
We look forward to continuing to deliver programs to support the industry until the end of March 2024!

What’s Coming Up in February 2024

The Centre of Excellence is delivering a series of workshops on how tourism and hospitality operators can leverage technology to streamline their businesses.

The workshop will include the following topics:

  • Introduction to the Current Landscape: a brief overview of the challenges and opportunities faced by tourism and hospitality operators. 
  • The Power of Technology in Tourism: exploring how technology can be a game-changer for small and medium tourism businesses, with a focus on practical, cost-effective solutions.
  • Tech Solutions for Streamlining Operations: detailed insights into AI that can help streamline business operations, manage resources more effectively, and enhance efficiency.
  • Enhancing Customer Experience through Technology: strategies to improve customer engagement and satisfaction using AI looking at social media marketing, email marketing and online booking platforms.
  • Real-World Success Stories: sharing case studies or examples of local or similar businesses that have successfully integrated technology to overcome challenges and grow.
  • Interactive Session: an opportunity for attendees to discuss their specific challenges and explore tailored technological solutions.

Workshops will take place on the following dates:

Please click on the respective links to register for individual sessions.

For more information, download the workshop flyer.

What’s Coming Up in March 2024

Seasonal demand. It’s one of the greatest challenges for any business, particularly for tourism and hospitality operators. Both feasts and famines have their issues.
Either your business can’t keep up with demand, or there’s not enough work to pay the bills and keep your staff employed.
Almost every business experience seasonal fluctuation in sales and cash flow.
Some fluctuations are predictable, certain holidays, popular holiday periods or weather seasons. But others, like a crisis that suddenly cuts sales, are unpredictable.
The key is knowing how to manage these seasonal cycles and implement practices to reduce the impact.
The Centre of Excellence is conducting a series of workshops that will focus on key factors to assist your business to better prepare for the peaks and troughs. These include:

  • Marketing strategies
  • Online presence
  • Brand and collateral
  • Social media campaigns
  • Managing employees
  • Storytelling
  • Diversification, off peak and mid-week
  • Collaboration and networking

Details on these workshop will be available soon.

Other Skills Training and Education

TAFE NSW Hospitality Courses

Commencing study in 2024, TAFE NSW is offering flexible learning for Certificate IV in Hospitality, study part-time is a commitment of 10 hours per week.

For more information, download the course flyer including details on units of study and how to enrol.

. . .

NSW First Program

Destination NSW delivers the NSW First Program to assist tourism businesses across the state to develop, promote and sell their tourism products.

It includes face to face workshops and online webcasts that offer ‘how-to’ insights on a range of topics for the tourism industry, with events regularly added to the calendar.

Find out more and view on demand webcasts on the Destination NSW website.

For assistance with the NSW First Program and to discuss your business’ needs, please contact the Industry Development Manager at your Destination Network:

For Shoalhaven operators:
Aaron Matis
Destination Sydney Surrounds South
[email protected]
For Eurobodalla & Bega Valley operators:
Jenny Robb
Destination Southern NSW
[email protected]
. . .

Business Connect

Looking for support in running your business? Find and book a Business Connect webinar or event from business experts. Develop your business skills and help your business achieve its potential. Visit the Business Connect website for further details.

We welcome any feedback on our programs the Centre of Excellence and any ideas that could be considered to develop and grow tourism and hospitality on the NSW South Coast.

Speak soon,
Robyn and Sam

Robyn Johnson
Manager Skills and Opportunities
[email protected]
Sam Tooley
Industry Partnerships Specialist
[email protected]
This Local Economic Recovery project is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and the New South Wales Government under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
Images: (1) festive message, (2-4) WSET courses held during 2023, (5-10) THE Schools Days held during the year, (11-16) Local Knowledge Famils held during 2023.