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Western Sydney Conference Centre Function RoomNew South Wales (NSW) has achieved a historic milestone, recording over $50 billion in visitor expenditure for the first time by the end of December 2023. This remarkable achievement highlights NSW’s leadership in Australia’s post-pandemic visitor economy recovery, marking an impressive rebound driven by domestic and international travellers.

Over the past decade, visitor expenditure in NSW has experienced a compound annual growth rate of 6.4%, showcasing the resilience and strength of the state’s tourism sector despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. To sustain and amplify this growth, the NSW Government is refining its Visitor Economy Strategy 2030, which aims to enhance the state’s appeal through diverse and enriching experiences for all visitors.

Revamping Tourism Strategy for Continued Growth

The ongoing review of the Visitor Economy Strategy 2030 signifies a pivotal moment for NSW. The updated strategy aims to elevate cultural experiences for tourists and expand tourism into Western Sydney and regional areas. With the imminent openings of Western Sydney International and Newcastle International Airports, NSW is poised to unlock new growth avenues in the tourism sector.

The government’s strategy is focused on attracting more visitors and ensuring they have memorable and engaging experiences. The NSW Government’s Arts, Culture, and Creative Industries Policy (Creative Communities) and the night-time economy agenda are integral parts of this holistic approach, designed to foster vibrant, culturally rich communities that appeal to tourists.

Call for Stakeholder Insights

Destination NSW is actively seeking contributions from stakeholders across the state to shape the future of the visitor economy. Through the “Have Your Say” platform, individuals and organizations are invited to submit their perspectives and insights by Sunday, June 2.

Minister for Jobs and Tourism John Graham emphasized the importance of this milestone and the strategic review. He stated, “NSW has recently achieved a historic milestone, surpassing $50 billion in visitor expenditure for the first time. The visitor economy is going from strength to strength. With the looming opening of the Western Sydney International and Newcastle International Airports, it is a perfect time to reassess the opportunities in the sector. Three years on from the development of the strategy, not only does the tourism context in NSW look different, but so does the policy direction of the new government.”

Focus on Experience Tourism

John Graham highlighted the evolving focus on experience tourism, which aims to provide visitors with a destination and a series of enriching experiences that encourage repeat visits. “An experience tourism focus means thinking about not just bringing people here, but about what they do when they arrive and encouraging them to return repeatedly. Culturally vibrant communities are what keep people in NSW but they’re also what bring people here,” he explained.

Future Prospects

The NSW Visitor Economy Strategy 2030 review represents an opportunity to reinforce the state’s commitment to creating a dynamic and sustainable tourism sector. By leveraging the diverse cultural and natural attractions and improving infrastructure, such as the new international airports, NSW aims to solidify its status as a premier global tourist destination.

In summary, the NSW Government’s strategic initiatives are set to drive the visitor economy to new heights, ensuring that tourism remains a key pillar of economic growth and cultural enrichment in the state.




Written by: Jill Walsh