Just how important is regional tourism exactly? Very, if the Tourism & Transport Forum is anything to go by.
TTF CEO Margy Osmond continues to berate the Australian Government for not taking regional tourism seriously enough, however applauded a new commitment from the NSW Government as a step in the right direction.
According to Osmond, the “capital and coast” attractions are already well known and yet continue to feature in major tourism marketing tactics, but where’s the regional?
“Tourism is Australia’s new super growth industry, but for it to remain so, we need to constantly improve upon and expand what we offer to visitors,” she insisted.
“Expanding our tourism product by adding more regional attractions is critical to building the national visitor economy.”
The NSW Government has promised to front $300 million to help give regional environments and tourist attractions a little nudge into the spotlight.
“TTF has long campaigned for much greater integration of regional Australia into our tourism inventory, and applauds the NSW Government’s initiative to provide new funding for regional tourism and environment projects, including food and wine experiences, national parks and heritage buildings,” Osmond continued.
“Last year, Australia attracted a record 8.3 million international visitors. There’s a huge opportunity to build upon this, particularly if we deliver more and better regional product, not just to the surging and emerging markets of Asia, but also to our more established markets including UK, Europe and North America.”
TTF recently released a study called ‘Built heritage and the national economy: The case for adapative re-use of heritage assets’, which highlighted examples in Australia and overseas of heritage buildings being revitalised for use as visitor infrastructure.
The study, in partnership with the Mawland Group, found more than two million international visitors per year visited historic or heritage buildings, sites or monuments in Australia.
The study also found cultural and heritage tourists spent 24 per cent more, and stayed 24 per cent longer in Australia than the average international visitor, while domestic tourists made 4.9 million overnight trips and 4.1 million day trips to these attractions.