Stakeholder Update | April 2019


NSW Cabinet Appointed
Following the State election in March, the returning Liberal NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has released her new cabinet lineup. The Honourable Stuart Ayres has been appointed Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney.
From the local region, the Honourable Gareth Ward has been appointed Minister for Families, Communities and Disabilities Services and the Honourable Shelley Hancock is now Minister for Local Government. The new look cabinet provides a renewed focus to regional NSW, and we look forward to working with the Government to deliver results for our region.

3 Festival Launched in Wollongong
A big congratulations to the team at Destination Wollongong for successfully securing 3 Festival to be held in February 2020. The four-day event which will include free and ticketed events across a number of venues was launched amid great excitement last month. Significantly, it is the first time that Wollongong City Council, Destination NSW and University of Wollongong have come together in support of a major event. To be hosted by Austrian company ARS Electronica and delivered by event veteran Adam Zammit, the technology and arts festival is expected to be a game-changer for the region. Click HERE to view the short video.

Fly Corporate’s New Schedule Underway
Fly Corporate is set to commence their new schedule to Melbourne this week with additional flights and re-timed departures from Melbourne, as well as additional flights to Brisbane.
In addition to the 6.15am departure from the Illawarra to Essendon on Monday through to Friday, new flights to the Illawarra departing Essendon at 6.15am will be available Monday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Brisbane departure times have been moved to an earlier time on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, departing at 8.20am and arriving in Brisbane at 10.20am.
To view the new schedule and book flights from as low as $169, visit the
Fly Corporate website.

Australia’s Largest Events Conference Announces Regional NSW Location for 2020
Destination NSW has partnered with Crowne Plaza to secure EVOLVE, the largest conference for event professionals across Australia, with the Hunter Valley recently announced as the host location for 2020. The region will welcome more than 500 delegates from a variety of industries during 3 – 5 May 2020. 
Read more and register

Supplier Listings Now Available on ‘Meet in NSW’
Destination Sydney Surrounds South, in conjunction with local Councils have recently hosted Destination NSW on several workshops across the region to highlight the opportunities and benefits of regional conferencing and business events. Feedback from the workshop roadshow has been very positive and those interested to learn more are encouraged to visit the Meet in NSW website.
During the workshops Helen Parker, Manager of the Regional Conferencing Unit recommended businesses list their venues on the Meet in NSW
website and in a recent update all conferencing suppliers, including event hire, audio-visual, catering, and accommodation are now also able to join.
List your venue
HERE or to list your supplier business HERE.

On the National Agenda
The 2019-2020 Foreign Affairs and Trade Budget has announced funding towards a National Tourism Icons Program, set to provide vital tourism infrastructure and upgrades, as well as continue funding for Tourism Australia.
The Morrison Government has also committed to
$500 million towards upgrades to the Princes Highway between Wollongong and the Victorian border if re-elected. The project which will have significant benefit for the region will be funded on a 80:20 basis with the NSW Berejiklian Government.

New Content to Showcase NSW Aboriginal Cultural Tours in Ten Languages
NSW’s unique Aboriginal tourism experiences received international exposure with new Aboriginal cultural videos dedicated to the sector releases in ten different languages at the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) trade show in Perth last week. The videos in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Malay, Indonesian, Korean and Japanese, as well as closed captioning for people with a hearing disability, reflect the exceptional breadth of NSW’s export ready Aboriginal tourism experiences. Represented by more than 80 different nation groups, NSW is home to the largest population of Aboriginal people in Australia.
Fred’s Bush Tucker, Wollongong, was one of the ten experiences featured,
click HERE to view the video.

Wings Over Illawarra
Now in it’s 12th year, Wings Over Illawarra is set to return on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May.
The largest annual air show in Australia, and the second largest regional event in NSW, Wings Over Illawarra attracted over 35,000 attendees in 2018 and numbers are expected to exceed 38,000 this year. The event is a major contributor to the local economy, estimated to contribute $7 million to the region across the weekend. Tickets are all inclusive for the 2019 event and include the airshow (10.30am to 4.30pm each day), access to all of the HARS aircraft open for inspection, unlimited children’s rides, freestyle motocross display, and all exhibits and static air displays.
Tickets are available online through the
Wings Over Illawarra website or at the gate on the day.

Austrade Releases Latest State of the Industry Report
With tourism spend growing to $131 billion in 2017-18, tourism continues to be a strong performer for the Australian economy, and well deserving of its super-growth status. Report available HERE.

New Resources to Better Understand Workplace Laws
The Fair Work Ombudsman has recently released tailored information on workplace laws for employers in the fast food, restaurant and cafe industry to help them be aware of and comply with their employment responsibilities. Read more HERE.

Latest Tourism Data Webinar Now Available
Tourism Research Australia recently held a webinar on the tourism data landscape and resources available to industry. The presentation and a recording of the webinar are now available on the Austrade website.

Boost for Small and Medium Exporters
The Australian Government has announced the Export Market Development Grants Scheme will increase by $60 million to help small and medium exporters with export market development and promotional activities. Read more HERE.

Focus on Chinese Free and Independent Travellers (FIT)
Austrade has released new research around Chinese visitation and the significance of Chinese Free and Independent Travellers (FIT), including barriers to regional dispersal and opportunities for action.
This complements the launch of Tourism Australia’s new campaign ‘Too Australian for Words’ to lure more Chinese FITs to Australia. Read the research paper
HERE and read more about Tourism Australia’s new marketing campaign HERE.

Hotel Trends: The Power of Personalisation and Building Personal Connection
Director of Marketing Management at Expedia Group, Alejandro Moxey has recently released an article where he describes the travel industry as entering an era of both traveller and supplier personalisation – leveraging high tech to deliver touch experiences.
“Todays’ consumers have been trained to research product and prices, read reviews and make educated and discerning purchase decisions. To reach and engage customer in 2019, company need to deeply understand what today’s consumer value most to appeal to their personal need.” Moxey discusses.
From speedy technology adaption to helpful human video bots to the implementation of hyper-personalisation throughout the travel process, it is clear that a great commitment to embracing technological advancement will allow hoteliers to become more creative throughout the entire travel process. Read more
My Community Project
The NSW Government is encouraging participation in their new program My Community Project. For the first time individuals will be able to put forward their ideas community projects for government funding and vote for the best ideas in their area. Grants of up to $200,000 are available.
Applications open 2 April and close 15 May 2019.
To encourage investment and development of tourism infrastructure, local government, tourism and sector organisations, and private enterprise are encouraged to apply for funding to implement projects across NSW. Proposals are to be submitted by 30 June 2019.
Building Better Regions Fund
As part of the Australian Government’s commitment to create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities $641.6 million was injected into the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).

Round three of funding offers were announced recently. Congratulations to all of the successful applicants across our region, among the successful projects were applications from:
  • Shoalhaven City Council including, $1.7 million for placemaking projects for Vincentia Village, $487,253 for a new childhood adventure zone at Boongaree Park in Berry, and $462,500 to construct a carpark and public amenities at Myola Ferry Wharf in Jervis Bay
  • Shoalhaven Professional Business Association Incorporated, to provide a regional business leaders training program
  • Scarf Incorporated, to develop a strategic plan to increase employability of the migrant and refugee population across the Illawarra
Destination Sydney Surrounds South received funding of $30,000 to expand and deliver multiple events above those already planned for our ‘Tourism Symposium’. Events will be scheduled for later this year and early into 2020.

Well done again to all of the successful applicants.

2019 Regional Tourism Awards

Tourism Operators and event organisers across the state are invited to enter the 2019 Regional Tourism Awards with submissions for the awards now open.
Following great success of three regions in 2018, this year the Awards will expand to include all six Destination Networks: Country & Outback, North Coast, Riverina Murray, Southern NSW, Sydney Surrounds North and Sydney Surrounds South.
Find out more

Growing Wine Tourism Workshop

Delivered by Wine Australia in partnership with the Australian Tourism Export Council, the Growing Wine Tourism workshops are held over two days and in various locations across Australia, including the Southern Highlands. The initiative is part of the Australian Government’s $50million Export and Regional Wine Support Package.
DATE: 29 – 30 August 2019
TIME: 9.00am – 5.00pm
VENUE: Southern Highlands (TBC)
Register now

Farm2Plate Exchange

Regionality presents ‘Farm2Plate Exchange’, a national forum hosted across the Tweed and Byron regions of Northern NSW.
The Exchange is packed into two days with optional masterclasses that allow you to dive deep into a range of topics across agritourism, policy, marketing, food & farming.
It will feature major leaders in regenerative farming, as well as thought-leaders in global food marketing, and chefs who champion sustainability across the farm to place value chain.
14 & 15 May 2019 | Northern Rivers NSW
Register now

Inbound Workshop

A practical workshop designed to assist tourism businesses, such as tours, attractions and accommodation, to plan the final steps to develop and sell export-ready tourism products to the international travel trade.
Cost for the workshop is $50.
6 June 2019 | Sydney
Register now