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Beyond Sydney: NSW launches regional conference strategy

The New South Wales (NSW) Government has launched a Regional Conferencing Strategy & Action Plan
04/08/2017

Pictured: Tamworth Member Kevin Anderson

The meetings industry has traditionally centred around major urban conurbations, with high-spending delegates  splashing the cash in restaurants, bars, taxis and shopping malls.


But in Australia they want to spread the love.


The New South Wales (NSW) Government has launched a Regional Conferencing Strategy & Action Plan to drive more business events and visitors to rural and regional districts.


The AUS$6 million initiative was unveiled in Tamworth –  a city with a population of just 49,000 - which hopes to be one of the main beneficiaries of the shift in thinking.


Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, said the conference industry was already worth AUS$145 million to regional NSW each year, but more could be done to increase visitor numbers.


“We want to increase that contribution by bringing more conferences and visitors to regional NSW, and in turn boost local economies and create more jobs in our regional communities,” he said.


Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said the business events sector presented a growth opportunity for regional destinations and the plan would ensure it was realised.


He said: “From the bush to the coast, we want every conference planner to know that regional NSW can offer delegates both an opportunity to do business and the chance to explore.”

The plan includes 11 ‘strategic imperatives’ and 64 action points, with the following now in place:

 *The establishment of a Regional Conferencing Unit within Destination NSW which will work closely with industry and the Destination Networks to build capacity and increase the number of business events held in regional NSW.

*The launch of a website called ‘Meet in Regional NSW’ to help showcase the array of business event venues and destinations in regional NSW.

*The development of a NSW Regional Conferencing Toolkit which offers the tools and tips of the trade for regional business event suppliers.

*The launch of a pilot NSW Regional Conferencing Development Grants Program which will provides investment on a matched-dollar-for-dollar basis to attract more meetings and business events in rural and regional NSW. An initial investment of $500,000 has been allocated to this programme.


Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said: “The Strategy will help attract more visitors to enjoy everything Tamworth has to offer, and will equip local businesses with the tools and resources they need to ensure visitors have the best possible experience while they’re here.”


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