Destination Download | September 2023

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

There’s much happening at DSSS! It is a busy time with the South Coast Centre of Excellence (CoE), as the final months of this program quickly approach – read more about this important industry support program at the dedicated page on our website and catch up on current activities in their recent update. We would also love to hear from you about how the CoE has impacted your business and what support could provide greater benefit to you, your staff and your business – complete the short survey here.

DSSS recently hosted in partnership with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation (ISJO) and Sparrowly Group, two Agritourism Acceleration Workshops on the South Coast and in the Southern Highlands. Part of a specialised program designed to educate and inform farmers about the potential opportunities available through diversification into agritourism, the project also includes the development of handy industry resources for farmers. Read more about this exciting project and download the resources, on the Agritourism page on the DSSS website.

Save the date on upcoming dates for key DSSS events:
  • Face-to-Face Fundamentals workshops
    Navigate the tourism landscape and shine a spotlight on your business!
    Join us at one of our Face-to-Face Fundamentals sessions as part of NSW Small Business Month where we’ll explore the benefits of having an Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) listing, why you need to be online bookable, and how to maximise your marketing efforts on a shoestring budget.
    Contact Aaron, DSSS Industry Development Manager for more information and to register. Dates for your diary:
    • Kiama | Monday 16th October
    • Wollongong | Tuesday 17th October
  • Business Events industry development program
    DSSS is pleased to be partnering with Mayvin Global to deliver a new industry development program for venues and suppliers interested in building their business events capabilities. Program dates:
    • Register now: Business Events ready Lunch & Learn session – online Thursday 19th October, 12.30-2pm | register now
    • Details coming soon: Deep dive workshops for proposal writing, site visits and much more! – coming in November 2023

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. 
Image: A couple enjoys food and wine at Bendooley Estate, Berrima. Credit: Destination NSW.

In this edition:

News & Announcements

Register now: NSW Visitor Economy Forum

Join Destination NSW for the NSW Visitor Economy Forum – Building Momentum to 2030 to hear about the market trends and programs that will drive the visitor economy over the coming 12 months. 

Following the success of the inaugural forum last year, Destination NSW is again inviting visitor economy stakeholders to take part in engaging conversations about the opportunities to grow the visitor economy.

As the NSW Government’s lead agency, champion and voice for the state’s visitor economy, Destination NSW will reflect on recent achievements and share details of 2024 activities from brand and marketing programs, visitor experience design and delivery, and highlights of the state’s dynamic events calendar. 

WHEN: Thursday, 5th October

Register now

We’d love to hear from you | Centre of Excellence Industry Survey

In June 2022 the South Coast Centre of Excellence (CoE) conducted an industry survey to gain insights into the challenges the tourism and hospitality operators were experiencing following the fallout from bushfires and COVID-19.  The data provided enabled the CoE to develop a calendar of programs and events that have been delivered to support the industry. This was more than fifteen months ago and we would like to again ask the industry to identify what, if anything, has changed and what are the current challenges being faced by operators.

This survey is now available and we encourage you to complete to allow the CoE to review its current programs to ensure they meet the needs of the industry.

The CoE was established from funding through the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund secured by DSSS in collaboration with Destination Southern NSW (DSNSW), to support the tourism and hospitality industry on the NSW South Coast. The program is currently being implemented across the bushfire-impacted local government areas (LGAs) of Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and Bega Valley.

Additional work is currently underway to determine feasibility and operational models for delivery across the entire DSSS region, as well as some additional DSNSW LGAs and insights gathered from the survey results will also inform this work.

Read more about the program here and see their August update for recent CoE activities

Complete the survey now

Cruise Conference gathers in Wollongong

The Australian Cruise Association (ACA) Conference and AGM was held in Wollongong this week. ACA CEO Jill Abel said the decision to repeal COVID-19 health protocols was a timely and positive lead-in to discussions at the conference. 

“With such a positive outlook for cruise both at home and overseas, our conference provides the industry with the perfect opportunity to come together and ensure we are well positioned to take advantage of future opportunities,” she said.  

Pre-conference excursions included a tour of the bustling port of Port Kembla, a trip to Illawarra Regional Airport to experience aviation history, a walking tour of the Blue Mile and an Indigenous Stand-Up Paddle Board Tour led by local Dharawal woman Jodi Edwards. 

As a member of ACA, Destination NSW attended the conference and this year, proudly showcased NSW food and wine through its sponsorship of the conference gala dinner. Aaron, from the DSSS team also attended the event.

Port Kembla a ‘Strong Option’ for New Cruise Terminal

One of the major topics on the agenda at the Australian Cruise Association Conference was the location for a third cruise terminal in NSW. Cruise ship industry executives and government officials are backing Port Kembla to be the site of the state’s newest permanent cruise ship terminal. 

NSW Port Authority CEO Philip Holliday said there was an urgent need for another terminal, with Port Kembla being a ‘strong option’. 

He said that the new facility would not serve as a replacement for Sydney’s two cruise terminals at Overseas Passenger Terminal and White Bay but would help grow the cruise market. 

Royal Caribbean Cruises Managing Director Gavin Smith told the Australian Cruise Association Conference he also backed Wollongong as a major cruise ship port.  

“Wollongong is well situated for future growth; from a tourism perspective the council has been proactive and there has been real community and business engagement previously,” he said. 

Australian Cruise Association (ACA) chair Phil Holliday said: “I know there’s chatter about it being a ‘working port’ — but that’s what ships need. It offers a solution and there’s a real opportunity here.” 

Share your news with Destination NSW

Destination NSW is seeking news and content from visitor economy stakeholders to help spread the word about the many reasons to visit NSW.

Find out more »

Changes ahead for ATDW

Exciting changes are ahead for the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW). As a part of their commitment to digital transformation, they are refreshing their branding and upgrading the platform. Before the end of the year, their new name will be unveiled alongside the revamped platform.

Find out more »

Visitor Economy Workforce Interim Action Plan

The Visitor Economy Workforce and Skills Interim Action Plan 2023-24 is now available to download. The plan helps to build workforce capability in the visitor economy in accordance with the THRIVE 2030 strategy. Priorities identified in the plan include:

  • addressing structural challenges in workforce supply
  • addressing domestic and international workforce supply
  • improving the skills and capability of the workforce
  • promoting the visitor economy as a career of choice

Find out more »

Agritourism opportunity: Kids to Farms

Kids to Farms is a new Federal Government-funded program to increase engagement between primary school students and NSW agriculture. The website makes it easy for schools to connect with farms and the experiences that they offer and even allows for ‘virtual’ excursions for times when an in-person visit may not be possible. Farmers are being encouraged to join the program to provide students with educational opportunities to learn about where their food and fibre come from. For more information, visit the Kids to Farms website or email [email protected]

Industry Insights

Value of Tourism to Sydney Surrounds South report

Every minute of every day, tourism delivers $6,270 of domestic visitor spend into Sydney Surrounds South. That is more than $9 million per day, a value that grew by 56.1 per cent in 2022.  

Destination NSW’s ‘Value of Tourism to Sydney Surrounds South 2022‘ report shows the number of domestic visitors to the Destination Network was 11.323 million who spent $3.296 billion.

The top region for domestic visitors in Sydney Surrounds South was Wollongong (4.104 million), followed by Shoalhaven (3.096 million).

The most popular activities for domestic overnight visitors were eating out/dining at a restaurant and/or cafe (58 per cent); going to the beach (42 per cent), visiting friends and relatives (34 per cent) visiting pubs, clubs, discos (26 per cent); sightseeing (23 per cent).

In 2022, the Sydney Surrounds South Destination Network secured events that delivered $181 million worth of domestic visitor expenditure into the state. They included Robertson Potato Festival, Wings Over Illawarra, Tulip Time and the Bowral Classic.

Read the full report »

New Regional Data Hub now available

Accessing reputable data for grant applications and planning is now even easier, with the establishment of the new online Regional Data Hub.

The hub created by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts includes Tourism By Region – Local Government Area profiles so you can see your LGA’s visitation profile, consumption, employment and more.

Visit the site »

Business & Skills Development, Resources, Events

Business Events industry development | key project dates

DSSS is again undertaking industry development for venues and suppliers interested in building their Business Events capabilities, we have partnered with Mayvin Global to deliver the latest iteration of the program. The first stage of the project will be open to everyone across the DSSS region and will include a presentation on how to determine if your business is Business Events ready.

Register now | Lunch & Learn session
WHERE: Online, register now
WHEN: Thursday 19th October, 12.30pm-2pm

Details coming soon! | During November there will be further workshops for those already operating in business events and looking to enhance their skills in proposal writing, conducting tailored site visits and more.

To register your interest for the November sessions or for more information, please contact Tash McQueen, DSSS Business & Partnership Specialist via email: [email protected] or on 0448 437 052.

Agritourism Opportunities project resources

DSSS and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation (ISJO) have partnered with Sparrowly Group to deliver a project designed to educate farmers about agritourism and industry investment opportunities in the sector.

This has included the recent hosting of industry masterclasses and mentoring sessions for farmers, as well as the development of handy industry resources. The two workshops were held at Cupitt’s Estate at Ulladulla and Farm Club in the Southern Highlands.

For more information about the project and to access the useful industry resources, visit the Agritourism page on the DSSS website.

If you are a farmer or know a landowner who could benefit from diversifying into agritourism, please contact Tash McQueen, DSSS Business & Partnership Specialist via email: [email protected] or on 0448 437 052.

Nail your next grant application

The Sparrowly Group have compiled a resource to help business owners confidently apply for grants. Getting grant ready means that your chances of success are higher and the time it takes to write a submission can be reduced. If you currently apply for grants or are considering applying, this resource is for you.

DSSS has previously held a grant writing workshop, refresh on this session at any time.

Applications open: First Nations Tourism Mentoring Program

A new, free mentoring program, it supports First Nations tourism businesses to grow and achieve their goals by connecting them with skilled, experienced and culturally respectful industry specialists who can provide one-on-one advice and support. 

Applications are open for businesses that are at least 50% First Nations-owned, currently operating in the tourism sector or associated supply chain.

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