‘Tourism Taskforce’ to help NSW bank billions
THE Berejiklian government will aggressively pursue key international visitor markets such as China and India as part of an ambitious mission to treble overnight visitor spending by 2030.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said the government will work closely with the industry over the next three decades to increase overnight visitor expenditure from $18.9 billion last year to $55 billion.
It will also support the creation of the first-ever "Team NSW Tourism Taskforce" - a team of heavy hitters who will provide expert advice to government on tourism policy.
Mr Marshall said China and India - both among NSW's 10 most lucrative inbound tourism markets - represented "significant growth opportunities for Sydney and rural and regional NSW".
Government figures showed visitors from China injected a whopping $3.2 billion into NSW coffers last year with some 782,200 visitors while 148,900 visitors from India spent $337 million.
The state also enjoyed a double digit increase in visitation from these countries with China up 16.8 per cent and India 17.3 per cent.
Mr Marshall said promoting the diversity of our NSW's rural and regional towns to these priority international markets will be a "game-changer" for local economies.
"We want to make tourism an engine industry for rural and regional NSW - that's why we've also, for the first time ever, created a regional NSW target of $20 billion by 2020 and $25 billion by 2030," he said.
The new target also follows an independent review of the NSW government's 2012 Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan with 43 new "targeted actions" identified.
Among them is the creation of a Team NSW Tourism Taskforce comprised of industry leaders from the visitor economy sector and NSW government.
Led by Destination NSW chair John Warn, the Taskforce will meet four times a year and provide advice on emerging tourism trends.
The team is yet to be finalised.
Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive officer Margy Osmond said tourism - which contributed over $34 billion to the NSW economy last year - "continues to emerge as one of the cornerstones of Australia's prosperity".