Plan to turn NSW into Asia Pacific’s biggest tourism hub

New South Wales has outlined a strategy to host more major events as it looks to transform the state into the largest tourism hub in the Asia-Pacific.

Unveiled yesterday, the Visitor Economy Strategy 2030 aims to aid recovery and turbocharge visitor economy growth through securing world-class events, boosting regional visitation and building new tourism icons and visitor experiences for the future.

The aim is to grow the state’s visitor economy to $65 billion by 2030, up from its pre-pandemic level of $43 billion.

“If COVID-19 has shown us anything it’s that the visitor economy is everyone’s business – it accounts for almost 300,000 jobs and 110,000 businesses and is integral to our state’s economy,” Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said.

“Once health advice allows, NSW will bounce back as a result of a $200 million a year investment to help get the tourism sector back on its feet.”

The strategy would focus on domestic visitors until international travel was back on the agenda, with increased investment in marketing, events, business support, training and tourism infrastructure.

Developed by Destination NSW the strategy will also focus on the day trip market, worth an estimated $10 billion by 2030, and grow opportunities in regional NSW, with the aim of returning visitation to pre-pandemic levels by 2024.

“The Visitor Economy Strategy is not just about recovery, it’s about the future,” Ayres said.

“The NSW Government is already charging ahead to create new tourism experiences and icons such as the new Sydney Fish Market, new sporting stadiums and cultural institutions and world-class walking tracks in regional NSW.

“We will bolster our reputation for staging premier events including the Australian exclusive production of Hamilton, Vivid Sydney, Disney’s Frozen and we are close to securing the full suite of 10 World Cup sporting events for NSW in 10 years.”

Simon McGrath, CEO Accor Pacific, said the Visitor Economy Strategy was a solid roadmap.

“From an industry point of view the Visitor Economy Strategy is prepared in a very collaborative way, with a focused approach,” he said.

“As a result it has delivered an incredibly dynamic and strong platform which gives confidence to investors, operators and the industry as a whole. The result of this is that it will bring renewed interest from the private sector into tourism in NSW.”