PCO Association applauds NSW Government on policy launch

The NSW Government has released the much-anticipated NSW Regional Conferencing Strategy & Action Plan, which it says will drive more business events and visitors to rural and regional NSW.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro, Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Adam Marshall, and Member for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson, launched the $6 million strategy with the aim of securing more conventions, meetings and business events to rural and regional NSW.

Mr Barilaro said the conferencing industry was currently worth $145 million to regional NSW each year.

“Through this strategy, we want to increase that contribution by bringing more conferences and visitors to regional NSW, and in turn boost local economies and create more jobs in our regional communities,” Mr Barilaro said.

Mr Marshall said the business events sector presented a significant growth opportunity for regional destinations, and the actions in the Regional Conferencing Strategy & Action Plan would ensure that growth was realised.

“From the bush to the coast, we want every conference planner to know that regional NSW can offer delegates both an opportunity to do business and the chance to explore our fantastic tourism offerings,” Mr Marshall said.

The NSW Regional Conferencing Strategy & Action Plan includes 11 strategic imperatives and 64 actions, with the following now in place:

• The establishment of a Regional Conferencing Unit within Destination NSW which will work closely with industry and the Destination Networks to build capacity and increase the number of business events held in regional NSW.

• The launch of a website portal called ‘Meet in Regional NSW’ to help showcase the array of business event venues and destinations in regional NSW.

• The development of a NSW Regional Conferencing Toolkit which offers the tools and tips of the trade for regional business event suppliers.

• The launch of a pilot NSW Regional Conferencing Development Grants Program which will provides investment on a matched-dollar-for-dollar basis to attract more conventions, meetings and business events in rural and regional NSW. An initial investment of $500,000 has been allocated to this pilot program.

Member for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson, said the Regional Conferencing Strategy & Action Plan would be a huge benefit to the region.

“The Strategy will help attract more visitors to enjoy everything Tamworth has to offer, and will equip local businesses with the tools and resources they need to ensure visitors have the best possible experience while they’re here,” Mr Anderson said.

PCOA President Barry Neame said “its members are strong advocates of regional conference and events destinations as they provide opportunities to showcase and support unique locations. The Regional Conferencing Strategy & Action Plan can only benefit local economies and add to community spirit. We applaud the NSW government on this policy launch”.