The NSW Government’s creation of a new statutory tourism authority, Destination NSW, is a demonstration of its commitment to dramatically boost tourism and help rebuild the State’s economy, Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris, announced today.
The new statutory authority will drive the NSW Government’s determination to double tourism expenditure in NSW by 2020.
Mr Souris said Destination NSW represented another key election commitment achieved under the NSW Government’s 100 Day Action Plan.
“Today we are announcing the creation of Destination NSW, a new statutory authority, backed by an expenditure of $400 million over the next four years, to realise the full potential of Sydney and NSW as a global tourism and event destination.
“Tourism and events are a $28 billion a year business, supporting more than 162,500 jobs throughout the State – they play a vital role in our economy and Sydney and NSW needs more innovative and dynamic marketing to better sell the State globally and throughout Australia”.
Mr Souris said Destination NSW will encompass the current functions of Tourism NSW, Events NSW, the Greater Sydney Partnerships, the Regional Tourism Organisations and the Homebush Motor Racing Authority.
“Tourism NSW and Events NSW will be wound up and will become divisions of Destination NSW, with relevant staff and budgets transferred to the new organisation,” Mr Souris said.
“I have asked the current Chairman of Events NSW, John Conde, the Chairman of Tourism NSW, Les Cassar and the Director-General of the Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services (DTIRIS), Mark Paterson, along with the Chair of the Visitor Economy Taskforce, to form an interim advisory board to oversee and advise me on transitional matters.
Legislation will be introduced to create Destination NSW, a statutory authority governed by an independent chairman and a board of management. The Minister’s powers to direct the body will be codified in legislation and Government will be represented on the Board by the Director-General of Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services (DTIRIS). At least two Directors from the current Events NSW and Tourism NSW
Boards will be invited to serve on the Destination NSW Board.
Destination NSW will contain an Events Division and a Tourism Division, each with its own advisory board. A Chief Executive Officer for Destination NSW will be recruited. The Directors of Events NSW and Tourism NSW will continue to direct their entities under the DNSW umbrella.
“Its budget will combine the existing budgets of Events New South Wales, Tourism New South Wales and the O’Farrell Government’s $45 million supplementation committed during the election campaign. It is expected that any savings made will be re-invested in the body’s event acquisition and marketing operations.
“Destination NSW will have responsibility for marketing and promoting NSW and for implementing the strategy developed by a new Visitor Economy Taskforce which would aim to double tourism expenditure in NSW by 2020”.
Mr Souris said the Government was also establishing a Visitor Economy Taskforce
“The Visitor Economic Taskforce will be an advisory body. It will be able to form an advisory panel and workgroups as it sees fit and its role will be to develop a strategy to achieve the Government’s 2020 tourism target.
“It will also conclude its important strategic work in 12 months.
“We will be addressing the lack of tourism infrastructure and the growth in such segments as indigenous tourism, youth and aged travel, health tourism, food and wine as well as broader tourism and the acquisition of major events. There will also be a strong emphasis on regional tourism which for too long has been overlooked.
“Bringing these agencies’ skills, experience and budgets together will create efficiencies, economies of scale and a more powerful platform from which we can better sell Sydney and
NSW to the world and greatly revitalise the State’s economy,” Mr Souris said.