Media Release - LGNSW Tourism Conference under way in Parkes

13 March 2018

More than 200 tourism professionals have descended on the Elvis capital of Australia and home of the much-loved CSIRO “Dish”, to attend the 2018 Local Government NSW (LGNSW) Annual Tourism Conference in the central NSW town of Parkes.

LGNSW President Linda Scott said the Conference is an opportunity for delegates to look at how best to leverage the economic benefits of tourism for local economies in both metropolitan and regional areas.

“In 2017 NSW attracted 31 million overnight visitors from around Australia who spent a record $18.1 billion during their stay,” Clr Scott said.

“That’s a 10.5 per cent increase on the previous year.

“Tourism in NSW generates 261,000 jobs; as an industry it is responsible for one in every 14 jobs that exist in our state.

“There are also more than 96,000 businesses involved in tourism in NSW - and more than one-third of these businesses are located in regional NSW.

“These figures alone show that an investment in tourism really adds up.”

Clr Scott said the local government sector played a significant role in NSW tourism, by managing tourism businesses, driving local economic development, delivering public infrastructure and services, and managing impacts on the environment and community.

“Getting the mix right is vital in achieving visitor appeal,” she said.

“NSW’s cities are known worldwide, and our regions are increasingly carving out their own tourism identities based on pristine environments, rich natural and cultural heritage, and magnificent food and wine offerings.

“The latest Domesticate study found that in 2017, NSW could claim the title for both the most visited, and the most popular of regional destinations for Australians planning to take a break.”

The study – conducted each year by global market researchers Kantar TNS – said regional NSW delivered what Australians were looking for in a holiday: peaceful moments of quiet (20%) and the opportunity to reconnect with family and friends (23%).

“Australians look for luxury overseas, but the study reports that domestic holidays are more about the value of the experience,” Clr Scott said.

“It also found Australians swing back and forth about whether to try the sharing economy via offerings such as Airbnb, or stick with the tried and true traditional providers.

“Our two-day Conference program includes discussions on short-term holiday lettings, as well as sessions on successful destination campaigns; the growth of the camping, glamping and caravanning sector; the benefits of a night-time economy; and security and safety for crowded places and mass gatherings.

“Delegates will also discuss innovative ways to attract business visitors and conferences to their region – and of course we’ll get to hear and see firsthand how Parkes is working to grow its iconic Elvis Festival, held every January.”

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Toni Allan: 0412 774 441