The Tourism Division of the NSW Business Chamber, the state’s business organisation, says in an assessment of the NSW Government’s performance the tourism sector needs better strategic planning in the cities, as well as clear strategies to draw more visitors to the regions.
The On the Move Mid-Term Report Card assesses the Government’s performance against the Tourism Division’s 2015 pre-election priorities to grow, invest, secure and engage the tourism sector.
“Tourism in New South Wales is booming, contributing more than $37 billion to our economy as well over a quarter of a million jobs,” Executive Manager Dean Gorddard said.
“Government initiatives such as the State’s record infrastructure pipeline, a robust calendar of events in Sydney, and planning to move a major cultural attraction – the Powerhouse Museum – to Western Sydney have all contributed to our flourishing visitor economy,” Mr Gorrdard said.
“At the same time, we can’t take the industry’s continued strength for granted. There’s much to be done over the remaining two years of this term of Government.
“Right now, the network of programs, funding streams and Government bodies involved in tourism is well-nigh impossible for business to navigate.
“One of the Government’s first priorities should be to clean up this baffling bureaucracy and set up a one stop shop for businesses servicing our visitor economy,” Mr Gorddard said.
Western Sydney Director of the Sydney Business Chamber, David Borger, said the tourism sector continued to lack clear strategic direction.
“Sydney, alone among Australia’s capital cities, lacks a Destination Management Plan.
“Sydney is the jewel in the crown of NSW tourism with two key centres in the Central Business District and here in Western Sydney.
“The NSW Government should have dedicated plans to grow tourism in both centres so that Sydney continues to shine for millions of visitors,” Mr Borger said.
The NSW Business Chamber’s Mid Term Assessment also finds that regional NSW has largely missed out on the tourism boom, with visitors to Sydney failing to extend their trip with a visit to a regional area.
“Regional areas offer a variety of cultural, food and lifestyle experiences to attract visitors, but tourism operators often lack the necessary support to market their products and understand the needs of consumers from diverse backgrounds,” Mr Gorddard said.
“If the NSW Government is to grow regional tourism, it needs to provide the funding and policy attention that’s needed, starting with a strategy to boost the dispersal of the lucrative Chinese market.
“The NSW Government has an opportunity to continue its agenda and taking up the priorities we’ve suggested will leave the lasting legacy of a resilient visitor economy,” Mr Gorddard said.