NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres visited Byron this morning and told Destination Byron’s annual Tourism Symposium that the NSW government had a goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure by 2020.
In the year ending March 2016, more than 6.3 million domestic and international visitors came to the Northern Rivers, representing a rise of more than 10% on the previous year’s figures.
These visitors stayed for more than 11 million nights, and contributed $1.8 billion to the local visitor economy, he said.
Mr Ayres said that whilst the overall growth in regional tourism over the last four years ‘had been fantastic’, there was ‘still more to do’.
‘The NSW Government has a goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure by 2020, and we know that regional tourism is an important driver in meeting this target’, he said.
The Northern Rivers and Byron Bay, which he said had ‘cemented their place as one of Australia’s most successful tourism destinations’, fall within the newly established North Coast ‘Destination Network’, one of six in NSW.
Mr Ayres said that under the new tourism model the Destination Networks will talk to Destination NSW to ensure that State tourism campaigns, ‘are reflective of the local tourism offering’.
‘The new Destination Networks will improve industry engagement and the development of visitor experiences and products. Destination NSW will provide Destination Networks with operational funding, guaranteed for four years.
Working closely with industry, Destination Networks will develop visitor experiences and tourism product; and promote destinations and industry professional development’, he said.
Mayor Simon Richardson said, ‘Whilst we welcome tourism when it is sustainable and respectful of the community and environment, increased visitor numbers also require increased investment from the State government in local infrastructure to ensure that the visitor experience remains a positive one.’
Source : Echonet