Destination Download | December 2023

Welcome to the final Destination Download of 2023! We can’t believe Christmas is just around the corner – what a year it’s been! 

As we head into the Summer holiday period, Transport for NSW and Google have pulled together some helpful tips and tricks to assist your business and visitors alike. If you’re after some light reading over the holidays, new insights and figures from the National Visitor Survey and International Visitor Survey have just been released for September. Finally, if you’re keen to learn more about how to sell your tourism product online, then you won’t want to miss Destination NSW’s half-day webinar in early February.

In other exciting news, our very own Tash McQueen will be heading on parental leave in 2024. We wish her and her family all the best, we can’t wait to meet the little bub! With Tash on leave, we are delighted to welcome aboard Lauren Bingham. Lauren is an Illawarra local and brings with her a wealth of expertise – welcome to the team! 

As always, if we can assist your business or you’d like to chat about the visitor economy in the DSSS region, please reach out to us! Between our updates, we also share updates on LinkedIn and you’ll also find us on Instagram, we encourage you to follow us on the socials. 

From the team at DSSS, we wish you all very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Here’s to a bumper Summer holidays all-round!
Image: Sunrise at Bombo, Kiama NSW Credit: Destination NSW.

In this edition:

News & Announcements

Destination NSW CEO Visit

In late November we had the absolute pleasure of welcoming Steve Cox, CEO Destination NSW, as well as Stephen Mahoney, General Manager, Policy, Product and Engagement and Tim Loxton, Director, Regional Hub to our area.
There wasn’t a minute to spare on their visit! With a jam-packed itinerary, we were able to give them a taste of what our region has to offer; from an immersive Aboriginal experience, to seeing the rings of Saturn, sampling delicious local honey and more!
To top it all off, our stakeholder event in the Southern Highlands was a great opportunity for operators to get to know Steve and the team. A big thank you to those of you who could make it along!

Creative Communities: Putting Culture at the Heart of NSW

The NSW State government has recently unveiled details of Creative Communities, the new arts, culture and creative industries policy. Creative Communities is a 10-year vision, the state’s first creative industries policy, supporting the traditional arts sector and cultural institutions, but encompassing industries informed by the state’s unique and diverse cultural strengths, including:

  • First Nations cultures
  • Galleries, libraries, archives and museums
  • Performing arts including theatre, dance, circus, comedy, cabaret
  • Music including classical and contemporary composition, performance, and recording
  • Screen and digital games
  • Visual arts and crafts
  • Literature, writing and publishing
  • Broadcasting and digital media
  • Design, architecture and fashion
  • Built and physical heritage
  • Creative and arts education
  • Creativity in the food and beverage sector
  • Creative innovation in the technology sector
Image: Bangarra Dance Theatre performing Bennelong. Photo: Daniel Boud
Find Out More

Business & Skills Development, Resources, Events

Transport for NSW – Digital Toolkit for the Visitor Economy

Transport for NSW has put together some handy information for safe travel during the upcoming summer holiday period. Whether you are communicating with your local community, tourism industry, travellers seeking information at your Visitor Information Centre or guests visiting your destination; the toolkits has some simple tips and planning tools to make travel safer this summer.

Download Digital Toolkit

National Sustainability Framework for the Visitor Economy

Recently, AUSTRADE released the National Sustainability Framework for the Visitor Economy. The document outlines a shared understanding of sustainability in relation to the visitor economy to bring all participants together behind a consistent approach. It also marks an intention by all tourism ministers to provide leadership and to collaborate on making the visitor economy more sustainable.

Download the Framework

$10M Boost for Visitor Economy Digital Super Hub

Accommodation Australia’s project to create a one-stop digital hub for hospitality, tourism and travel is full steam ahead following a $10m federal government grant and the appointment of a new Project Manager. 

Find Out More

Industry Insights

Selling Experiences Online Virtual Workshop

Join Destination NSW for this free, half-day Sell Online virtual workshop and find out how to increase bookings through online sales – both direct and indirect – by using online booking software, creating effective ATDW-Online listings, and working with online travel agents (OTAs) to grow online visibility. 

When is it?
Tuesday 6 February 2024 @ 10:30am via Zoom

Who is it for? 
The Sell Online virtual workshop will suit visitor economy businesses, including accommodation, tours and activities, and visitor attractions including museums, galleries, wineries, distilleries, breweries and farm gates that offer bookable experiences. 

This workshop will be delivered virtually via Zoom.

Get insights and tips on: 

  • Taking online bookings
    Find out how to make your tourism products available to book instantly online via your own website, increasing the likelihood for visitors to book confidently, and creating more opportunities to make sales.  

  • Driving direct bookings through ATDW-Online
    Find out how to get more visitors to book on or by optimising your ATDW-Online listing, through the Get Connected Program. 

  • Reaching further with online travel agents (OTAs)
    Find out how to take the next steps to reach more customers by working with online travel agents (OTAs). 

What is included? 

  • Tourism insights, case studies and industry tips
  • Discussion and activities
 This virtual workshop is presented by Destination NSW as part of the NSW First Program, designed to assist tourism businesses to develop, promote and sell tourism products and experiences.


Register Now

Google Tips For Holiday Opening Hours

Visitor economy businesses have been advised to update their Google listings to reflect altered operating hours during the festive season. Rather than simply using the standard line “public holidays may affect operating hours”, it is suggested to schedule ‘Special Hours’ that display your opening hours on public holidays to make it easier for customers to seek goods and services when businesses are open.

Click here for more info

Latest Data & Trends

National Visitor Survey Data – September 2023

Tourism Research Australia has released its National Visitor Survey results for September 2023, which show visitor expenditure in Australia was $8.8 billion, down 11 per cent compared to September 2022. Visitors spent 31.7 million nights away, down 10 per cent; there were 8.8 million overnight trips, down nine per cent on September 2022. Early data shows domestic overnight trips for October 2023 were weaker compared to October 2019 and 2022. Data for the first three weeks of November 2023 also shows weaker results compared to November 2019 and 2022.

Click here for more info

International Visitor Survey Data – September 2023

Tourism Research Australia’s International Visitor Survey results show international visitor expenditure in Australia exceeded pre-COVID-19 levels by 11 per cent in September 2023. Trips and nights to Australia were 84 per cent and 91 per cent of pre-COVID-19 levels respectively. International visitors took 549,000 trips to Australia, had 18.3 million nights away and spent $2.2 billion during their visit. Australia’s top three international markets were New Zealand (100 per cent of pre-pandemic levels), China (60 per cent) and the United States (75 per cent).

Click here for more info

Industry Welcomes New Migration Strategy

The Federal Government’s new Migration Strategy has been welcomed by Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) Australia, the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) and Accommodation Australia.

TTF said the strategy would better address critical skills shortages and encourage the sector’s growth.

Click here for more info

Local Updates & New Product

Images: Festival goers at the 2023 Clearly Music, Arts and Wellness Festival

Clearly Music, Arts and Wellness Festival

The inaugural Clearly Music, Arts and Wellness Festival which took place in the seaside town of Kiama on Saturday 11 November was a knockout event! It exceeded expectations and it was great to see the community brought together by the creative arts and wellness. Sunshine and smiles all around!

Images: Artist and festival goers at the 2023 Changing Tides Festival

Changing Tides Festival

Kiama kept coming with the music! Changing Tides Festival, also in it’s first year, took the town by storm on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 December. Featuring a mix of world-class artists and home grown talent, they were able to fly the SOLD OUT banner across both days of the event!

Thank you for taking the time to read this update. Don’t forget 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.

Talk soon,
The DSSS team