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PLAN TARGETS 10% GROWTH Featured
26 November 2021 Posted by 

PLAN TARGETS 10% GROWTH

Coast tourism goes the natural path
DALLAS SHERRINGHAM
CENTRAL Coast Council’s new tourism Destination Management Plan aims to promote our region’s great natural beauty to millions of potential visitors within easy reach of the coast.
It is ambitious program unveiled at this week’s council meeting and aims at a 10% growth in overnight visitation by 2025. This would include a 15% increase in visitor expenditure.
 
That might sound like a conservative target, but the Coast already has more than $1 billion in tourist expenditure annually, so the 15% is a significant increase, providing more jobs and more facilities.
 
Where the Plan is ‘light on’ is a lack of a direct action Program to attract new tourist attractions and quality accommodation. The Coast now has only one major attraction – the Australian Reptile Park – and no major new hotels have been built for years.
 
Hopefully the new development at Old Sydney Town and the Central Coast Zoo will fill some of the void and be more attractive to families not interested in bushwalking or surfing.
 
Otherwise, the Plan is ‘spot on’ and the decision to go natural will appeal to visitors and locals alike.
 
The region to the West of the Coast – the Hinterland- is a stunning area of beautiful valleys and untouched bushland which has been underutilized until now. The Plan aims at increasing visitation to this area by 20%.
 
Other points included:
 
• Investigate the designation of a Coast beach as a World Surfing Reserve. Soldiers Beach break is the preferred spot amongst surfers.
• Development of iconic walks, particularly additional coastal walks in the North Coast and Hinterland walks. 
• Continued investment in National and State Parks infrastructure. 
• Multi day walking experiences linking to Sydney.
• Support development of authorised mountain bike trail opportunities and promoting authorised mountain bike trails.
• Development of visitor ready food experiences in the Hinterland, including paddock to plate restaurants, farmgate experiences and dining in natural settings. 
• Development of ‘hero food’ experiences that capitalise on unique offerings.. 
• Foster creative and performing arts through theatres, galleries and creative spaces, by integrating art and performance into public life. 
• Investigate opportunities for art and sculpture interventions throughout Central Coast including lighting installations in entertainment precincts..
• Develop ‘foodie’ events capitalising on the region’s local produce strengths.
-Install  infrastructure at outdoor event locations that leverage the natural environment and can become ‘hero’ venues.
 
Council has place the DMP 2022-2025 on public exhibition following the successful delivery of 85% of the actions from the 2018-21 plan.
 
Spokesperson for Destination Central Coast and Council Director, Natalia Cowley said the new DMP aimed to create a thriving, connected and supported industry with compelling
visitor experiences from headland to hinterland.
 
“The DMP has been developed over a four-month period in collaboration with Destination NSW, Destination Sydney Surrounds North, Darkinjung Aboriginal Land Council, NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, Forestry Corporation of NSW, industry groups and local businesses.
 
“Strategic focuses include generating sustainable visitation patterns by increasing visitor dispersal and growing off-peak visitation, growing visitor yield, continuing to promote a cohesive and recognised brand, creating high quality amenity for residents and visitors, and empowering a unified, connected and supported tourism industry.
 
“Key projects include creating coast to country touring itineraries, developing shared pathways including Point Clare to Gosford Railway and the continuation of the Magenta Shared Path, developing a business events marketing and attraction action plan, undertaking a detailed accommodation opportunities and investment study with supporting investment prospectus and improving visitor services including implementing a wayfinding signage strategy, delivering visitor guides and regional maps, plusreinvesting in The Entrance Visitor Information Centre.”
 
Council Administrator Rik Hart said timing could not be better for the renewal of the Central Coast Destination Management Plan.
 
“Updating the region’s strategic priorities such as increasing visitor yield, encouraging visitation dispersal and enabling tourism product development sets a clear roadmap for recovery with a commitment from Council to support the sustainable growth of this important economic and employment sector for the region.
 
“It is important to note that not all of the actions within the draft DMP are the responsibility of Council to carry out. Implementation is shared with some projects also dependent on securing investment and grant funding.
 
“Council facilitates the delivery of tourism marketing and management in the region through planning and co-ordinated actions in collaboration with the tourism industry, tourism funding bodies and other regional stakeholders.”
 
The draft Destination Management Plan 2022-25 will be on public exhibition until December 22. Have your say at: www.yourvoiceourcoast.com
 
 


editor

Publisher
Michael Walls
michael@accessnews.com.au
0407 783 413

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