Independent review to sharpen regional tourism focus

An independent review of regional tourism in NSW has been welcomed by Cowra Mayor, Councillor Bill West.

The review of the State's tourism strategic blueprint — the Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan — is being undertaken by an independent taskforce that will consult with tourism stakeholders over coming months.

"Tourism plays a vital role in the economic health and well-being of our community; Cowra offers such unique tourism experiences as the Japanese Garden, former POW camp, the Peace Bell, Wyangala Dam, canola, wine, and food tours; and a genuinely-friendly country experience," Cr West explained.

"When you add to that our beautiful historic villages including Woodstock and Gooloogong and nearby towns such as Canowindra and Grenfell, one can see why the local region has so much to offer visitors," Cr West enthused.

The review will examine how well the Action Plan serves the industry with in-depth consultations with the major industry players in one of the region's major growth industries.

"The latest figures released by Tourism Research Australia demonstrates the role tourism plays in Central NSW; contributing more than $800 million to our economy annually," Cr West explained.

"Whether it's visitors purchasing meals, transport, shopping, fuel and accommodation — in each of the last 10 years — tourism's direct contribution to the region has grown with an annual growth rate of more than five percent," he added.

The review of the current strategy aims to lead the industry into the next phase of growth by examining how government can optimise the efforts of other players in the central west.

Cowra offers a unique set of experiences for visitors — historical, lifestyle, environmental, and cultural — and focussing on how to better promote and exploit the opportunities that tourism offers the district can only benefit us economically in both the long and short-term," Cr West concluded.