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01 October 2017 Posted by 

NEW ERA FOR COAST TOURISM

Time to become a smart destination
Special feature by Dallas Sherringham, Access News Associate Editor*
TOURISM is set to become a multibillion dollar business on the Central Coast and surrounds thanks to exciting new plans unveiled this month.
Planning is now well underway to establish the Coast as a major national and international player in the world tourist trade. It will mean the coast will exceed its current tourist income estimated at $1B annually.
 
Topping it off, Gosford has been named as the new State Tourism Office Destination Network headquarters.
 
It is the biggest boost for Central Coast tourism since the heady days of the 1970s when the coast was Australia’s favorite tourist destination.
 
The effort of the Central Coast Council and the State Govt now needs to be backed up by the Federal Govt. The coast needs major tourism attractions and new resorts to really make us a world class destination.
 
We need Federal tax incentives to promote tourism growth. A tax offset on tourism projects would be a great start. 
 
Much of the coast’s original tourist accommodation including units, guesthouses and even caravan parks has been gobbled by developers.
 
We now need to set aside State and Federal land for tourism developments such as theme parks and attractions.
 
I have seen massive tourist developments throughout Asia and with 350 million Chinese set to travel overseas this year, there is enormous potential here.
 
Having said that, much has been achieved.  As Council Administrator Ian Reynold, said it was an exciting time for tourism on the Central Coast with more changes happening now than have happened in the last twenty years.
 
“Combined with Council’s increased investment in tourism marketing and industry services, the recent appointment of new providers to deliver this, a new Destination Management Plan and the advent of a new marketing approach to implement it – we are working towards delivering more for the region,” Mr Reynolds said.
 
Destination New South Wales set up a new regional tourism network structure in 2016, creating six destination networks to focus on increased visitor growth opportunity.  The
 
Central Coast is part of the Sydney Surrounds North region including Blue Mountains, Hunter, Hawkesbury, Penrith and Lake Macquarie.  
 
Council Group Leader Ms Julie Vaughan said that the location of the new State tourism office on the Central Coast was a significant acknowledgement of the region’s tourism value and positioning as a visitor destination in New South Wales. 
 
“Tourism is a major industry on the Central Coast employing over 12,500 people and generating over $900 million a year for the regional economy,” Ms Vaughan said.
 
“The passion and commitment of the Coast’s tourism industry is great. There is a high level of enthusiasm about the new direction for tourism on the Central Coast”
 
“The local tourism industry told us over 18 months ago that they wanted improvements on how tourism is approached with a clear message to create the environment for tourism to flourish. That is what we are doing.”  
 
The new Destination Network – Sydney Surrounds North office will be at the Gosford Smart Hub.  
 
“Combined with Council’s increased investment in tourism marketing and industry services, the recent appointment of new providers to deliver this, a new Destination
 
Management Plan and the advent of a new marketing approach to implement it – we are working towards delivering more for the region,” Mr Reynolds said.
 
Backing up the State HQ, Council’s new tourism marketer Affinity will be promoting a new era for tourism on the Coast
 
Affinity is currently consulting and surveying Central Coast tourism industry stakeholders on the tourism markets that are a priority for them. 
 
At the same time, Affinity is conducting consumer research on how potential visitors perceive the Central Coast and what they want most in a visit to the Central Coast. 
 
A spokesman said this evidence-based approach will shape creative and innovative campaigns that highlight the most positive aspects of the region and increase tourism visitation and expenditure.  
 
Affinity intends to run marketing campaigns timed to drive visitation when it is most needed, outside of peak holiday periods.  More information about timing and concepts will be available over the next few months. 
 
*Dallas is also well known for his successful career writing and photographing travel features for leading magazines, newspapers and web sites. He has visited more than 50 countries and undertaken more than 100 cruises.


editor

Michael Walls
Publisher
P: 0407 783 413
E: Michael@accessnews.com.au

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