The first ever five-year tourism blueprint to sustainably grow the visitor economy in the Northern Beaches got the go-ahead by Council last night.
After extensive community and industry consultation, the plan sets in place a roadmap to strengthening the local economy through visitation, while protecting the local environment and social values.
Dovetailing with the NSW Government’s broader statewide tourism strategy (NSW Visitor Economy Strategy 2030), Council’s plan will leverage existing competitive advantages and popular attractions to attract higher spend visitors to the area, such as overnight stays.
Mayor Michael Regan said the tourism strategy was a collaboration between many players who recognised the importance of a thriving visitor economy and what needs to be done to tap into stifled tourism demand.
“It’s vital that we plan for sustainable growth in our visitor economy – growth that respects the needs of local communities while harnessing opportunities to create demand and grow jobs.
“The Destination Management Plan (DMP) includes strategies to maintain and potentially grow existing markets to encourage repeat visitation and increase length of stay and also plans to attract new markets with the greatest potential to grow the visitor economy.
“Delivery of the DMP will be aligned to the reopening of the economy and easing of restrictions.
“Initially this will include working with tourism operators and the hospitality sector to assist them get back to business and welcome visitors under COVID-safe conditions.
“We know how much local businesses have suffered and this strategy is all about getting back to business sustainably now and in the long term.”
Tourism is conservatively valued at $500m to the local economy, with the tourism and hospitality sector accounting for 12 per cent of all jobs on the Northern Beaches (twice the NSW average).
The DMP includes an action plan around key themes, grouped under two focus areas:
- Industry collaboration
- Planning and Facilities
- Transport and Connectivity
- Disperse visitation
- Product development
- Environmental sustainability
- Visitor Servicing
- Brand and positioning
- Attracting business and major events
- Supporting community engagement
- Targeting high-net worth visitors.
“The Destination Management Plan is not just about recovery, it’s about the future and how we can build on our natural advantages so we can share it with the world in a sustainable way,” Mayor Regan said.