*From our friends at Neighbours Not Strangers:
NSW Tourism Minister Adam Marshall MP has set new targets following an independent review of the NSW Government’s 2012 Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan. “International visitor markets like China and India represent significant growth opportunities for Sydney and rural and regional NSW, which is why we’re working on campaigns and strategies to fly more tourists to the State,” Mr Marshall said. “We want to make tourism an engine industry for rural and regional NSW – that’s why we’ve also, for the first time ever, created a regional NSW target of $20 billion by 2020 and $25 billion by 2030.”
The Minister’s ‘Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan’ can be found here. Nowhere in the ‘Invest in infrastructure’ sector does there appear to be a mention of any investment in accommodation facilities. Instead, the plan is to “agree on a NSW Government policy position on short-term holiday letting”, removing Residential Zoning across our State and permitting the commercial use of housing for tourist/visitor purposes.
Tourism Accommodation Australia NSW CEO Carol Giuseppi welcomed the target, saying the: “…release of the Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan shows the government fully appreciates the importance of the NSW visitor economy and recognises that it will continue to evolve and grow over the next decade.”
Airbnb, andTourism Accommodation Australia (NSW) who in 2017 announced a joint ‘world-first agreement’ with Stayz/Expedia, still manage regular meetings with NSW Ministers Adam Marshall and Matt Kean, whereas the Accommodation Association of Australia’s Richard Munro reports zero access to Ministers.
In it’s bid to triple overnight visitor spending by 2030 DestinationNSW is rolling out their ‘NSW First’ tourism development workshops. They are midway through their road shows in Gerringong, Bowral, Dubbo, Murrumbateman, Kingscliff, Gosford, Newcastle, Griffith, Port Macquarie, Penrith and Bathurst. The far North Coast is off the agenda this year following the backlash delivered during DestinationNSW’s 2017 thrust into communities there.
Meanwhile the Sydney Morning Herald’s Andrew Taylor writes that the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal’s Senior Member Deborah Dinnen has ordered DestinationNSW to disclose documents revealing how much it spends on major tourism events. Ms Dinnen rejected the agency’s argument that it was not in the public interest to disclose such information. More on DestinationNSW’s failure to meet its obligations under the Government Information (Public Access) Act (GIPA) can be found here.
Our critical concern with DestinationNSW is that nowhere during the entire Parliamentary review process into the adequacy of legislation on short-term renting in NSW can one see any disclosure of DestinationNSW’s widespread facilitation of residential housing alongside Airbnb, Expedia, Booking.com etc for tourist/visitor purposes. And as previously reported, our Premier and her Ministers won’t address our questions on this issue.