Small Business


Damian Thomas
Strategy Manager, Social and Community 

Phone: 02 9242 4063

Local Government plays a pivotal role in tourism activity, with councils actively involved in promoting tourism, providing infrastructure and services to support tourism, and managing the impacts of tourism.

In fact, the 2016 Australian Regional Tourism Report ‘Local Government and Tourism’ shows that councils in NSW spent $109 million on tourism in 2015/16 alone.

Whether it’s through the provision of infrastructure, cultural facilities, events, visitor services or public spaces, councils support the economic development of their local communities via either direct financial or in-kind support to tourism.

The role of local government in tourism is also recognised in the State Government's 2018 Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan, which contains a direction for Destination Networks to work more closely with councils.

LGNSW continues to work hard to develop networks and partnerships across the tourism and government sectors to help NSW member councils manage their tourism activity.

Current Tourism Projects

Local Government Tourism and Economic Development Conference
First held in 2004, the annual Local Government Tourism and Economic Development Conference is a key event for local government staff involved with tourism-related activities in their communities. Learn more >> [Links to the ‘Events’ page]

Short-term holiday letting
The role of local government in regulating short-term holiday letting is an increasingly important issue, as are the impacts and opportunities of short-term holiday letting on local communities.

In November 2018, LGNSW made a submission to the NSW Government’s Explanation of Intended Effect for the Short-term Rental Accommodation Planning Framework.

The submission outlined the need to address the gaps between the planning framework and the code of conduct, the need for the state government to introduce a registration system to provide the necessary data for compliance, and the need for the state government to commit funds for ongoing research to monitor the local impact of short-term rental accommodation.

LGNSW is representing member councils as part of the NSW Government’s Agritourism Working Group. Convened by the NSW Small Business Commissioner, the Group is mapping the process of approvals for three types of farm tourism – farm shops, farm tours and farm accommodation.

The aim is to make it easier for farmers and landholders to navigate the process, which may lead to diversification of farm activities and improved economic sustainability. Three councils have agreed to pilot the process – Liverpool Plains Shire Council, Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council and Wollondilly Shire Council.

Online Tourism Hub
LGNSW has partnered with Australian Regional Tourism (ART) to create an online forum for NSW member councils. The agreement provides members with exclusive online access to share ideas and documents via ART’s secure portal system. 

ART’s Tourism Hub and registration process

Inclusive Tourism
In 2017, LGNSW led an Inclusive Tourism project in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney, funded by the Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure Program and NSW Department of Family and Community Services.

The project helps councils and tourism operators share accurate information regarding the accessibility and inclusiveness of their facilities, as well as events for visitors with a disability. [Link to ‘Disability’ page]


LGNSW makes regular submissions to the state and federal governments, plus other agencies, to advocate on behalf of the interests of local government and their communities when it comes to tourism-related issues.

Please visit our submissions page for more details.