NSW RTO Restructure: Regional Tourism Re-energised

Well, it's the announcement regional NSW has been waiting for.

This morning, the Hon. Stuart Ayres MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events announced that the NSW Government will invest $43 million over four years in a major overhaul of the current Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) structure.

Tilma's key outtakes are as follows:

  • For administrative management purposes, 6 new "Destination Networks" (DNs) will replace the current RTO structure throughout NSW. These include Destination Riverina Murray, Destination Southern NSW, Destination North Coast, Destination Country & Outback NSW, Destination Sydney Surrounds North, Destination Sydney Surrounds South
  • The Destination Networks will act as Destination Managers – not just Destination Marketers. The DNs will manage the regions Destination Management Plan (DMP) and Business Plan, industry engagement and development, product development and, training and education. They will review Regional Visitor Economy Fund (RVEF) applications, collaborate with Destination NSW (DNSW) on industry initiatives and support DNSW who will undertake the development and implementation of domestic (and international) regional marketing strategy and campaigns
  • For certainty and stability, DNSW will introduce multi-year (4 year) guaranteed operational funding for DNs with no requirement to find matched dollar-for-dollar funding. Transition funding will be provided to current RTO's to assist in completing current projects and winding up their organisations ASAP
  • Each DN will consist of a paid Board with an independent Chair (appointed by DNSW), five to seven skills-based Directors and three full time staff; a General Manager, Business Development or Marketing Manager/Officer and Administrative Assistant 
  • DNSW Zone Managers will act as a conduit between the DNs and a new dedicated Regional Tourism Division, which will be established amongst DNSW
  • A State-wide Destination Management Plan will be developed with further resources dedicated to developing and promoting key sectors such as Aboriginal tourism, Youth, Cruise and Food & Wine
  • Increased Contestable funding will be available to local government, tourism and sector organisations, and industry for marketing and product development projects
  • The Regional Flagship Events Program has been expanded to include three sub-sections; an Incubator Program for new events ($20,000 for a maximum of 2 years), a Flagship Program which will provide marketing support to events that have been running for at least two years, and a Development Program for key event development initiatives (one-off grants of up to $50,000). The Major Event Funding Program will continue 
  • Finally, a new Regional Conferencing Unit will be established amongst DNSW to support and promote regional conferencing. A conferencing website, portal and client database will be developed and there will be support for those preparing bid documents among other resources 

For all of the details, please click here.

Source: Destination Networks: Driving Growth of the Visitor Economy in Regional NSW

Photo: Capture Coolamon Shire Photographic Competition