Destination NSW Holds Planning Workshop For Regional Tourism

Written by: The Hilltops Phoenix

IMAGE: Destination NSW held the workshop to help develop a NSW Destination Management Plan.
IMAGE: Destination NSW held the workshop to help develop a NSW Destination Management Plan.

On the 10th of May, parties interested in Hilltops and Yass Valley tourism participated in a planning workshop conducted by Destination NSW, the lead government agency for the NSW tourism and major events sectors.

The workshop was held at the Murrumbateman Country Inn.

Hilltops participants included Deputy Mayor Alison Foreman, Hilltops tourism officer Mel Whitechurch, members of Boorowa Business Chamber, and representatives from the Hilltops Art Trail, the proposed Boorowa-Galong Rail Trail, and Ballinaclash Winery.

The aim of the workshop was to help develop a NSW Destination Management Plan that articulates the unique offerings of regional NSW.

Participants learned that in 2019, 7.9 million visitors came to NSW, bringing 2.3 billion dollars into the economy.

Destination NSW has a plan to help the state recover after the COVID-19 downturn, which involves building our brand, showcasing our strengths, investing in world-class events, and facilitating growth.

Participants were placed into small groups and firstly asked to identify points of differentiation for Hilltops and the Yass Valley. Points such as our unique history, district seasonality, and the plethora of small producers who “punch above their weight” in terms of winning prestigious awards were raised.

The second item for discussion was the unique experiences that we provide for tourists.

Boorowa’s Irish Woolfest, the National Cherry Festival, the Canola Trail and the Hilltops Art Trail were all mentioned.

The third thing participants were asked to identify were the emotions that we wanted our visitors to have: words such as “warmth” and expressions like “We say g’day”, and “You will meet the maker” were put forward for the Hilltops region.

The final activity of the morning was to identify actions that could be taken to enhance visitor experiences. Issues such as the creation of immersive visitor information centres, enhanced connectivity, enhanced business collaboration and more specific items such as creating itineraries for visitors that are built on opening hours for businesses were all put forward.

Once Destination NSW have concluded their state-wide consultation process, the draft Management Plan will be available for participants to comment on.

The expectation is that the Plan will be finalised and launched in July this year.

KP Carmody

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