Towns and cities across Western NSW are being urged to ditch parochialism and support each other as part of a new tourism plan launched on Monday.
After being established in January 2017, Destination Country and Outback NSW (DNCO) has spent the last 18 months putting together a strategy to help drive tourism to the 61 per cent of the state it represents.
NSW Tourism Minister Adam Marshall and Member for Dubbo Troy Grant joined DNCO chairman Stephen Bartlett and a number of major stakeholders to launch the Destination Management Plan for 2018-2020.
Mr Marshall said DNCO and the wide-ranging plan it had generated would help to grow the region’s visitor economy but needed everyone to buy in.
“If we are to continue to attract more people to regional NSW, both international and domestic visitors, we have to put away parochialism and think more about marketing destinations rather than individual townships or shires,” the Tourism Minister said.
“It’s a lot of fun bashing up your neighbours and puffing out your chest and saying ‘we’re awesome and they’re bad, people need to see us and not go there’.
“The reality is the modern tourist, whether international or domestic visitors, don’t care about your parochialism.
“They don’t see boundaries on maps, they don’t see one town versus another and they see multiple experiences.”
DNCO covers the New England, Central West, Orana and Far West regions, with differing tourism attractions.
Its management plan was developed to set a direction for the next two years and beyond, and boost visitation to the entire network.
Mr Bartlett said marketing and development of the tourism sector and the visitor economy was a fundamental part of regional growth.
“The plan recognises the region’s diversity by strong collaboration,” the DNCO chairman said.
“It focuses on the objective to grow and sustain the visitor economy by developing assets, infrastructure, attractions and world class experiences and signature events, which connect visitors to a place.”
Mr Marshall said there had been extensive consultation with people and businesses right across the footprint of the DNCO to ensure the plan benefited everyone.
“It’s not just the big events like the Tamworth Country Music Festivals and the Parkes Elvis Festivals but the smaller events that really can leverage visitation, the Peter Allen Festival in Tenterfield and the Broken Heel Festival at Broken Hill,” he said.
A DNCO website has been established: dnconsw.com.au. People involved with the tourism industry are encouraged to look at the plan and participate.