Last week it was announced that the headquarters for Destination Southern NSW would be in Merimbula and Sapphire Coast Tourism manager Anthony Osborne couldn’t be happier.
Destination Southern NSW was recently formed as one of six new Destination Networks to replace the previous NSW government regional tourism structure.
The Destination Networks will be tasked with accelerating visitor expenditure to meet 2020 tourism targets.
Destination Southern NSW’s geographic coverage includes the eight local government areas of Bega Valley, Eurobodalla, Goulburn Mulwaree, Hilltops, Queanbeyan‐Palerang, Snowy Monaro, Upper Lachlan, and Yass Valley.
Its office will be in the Bega Valley Regional Learning Centre, something Mr Osborne said can only be a good thing.
''Destination Southern NSW has a large area of responsibility, including other tourism heroes in the Snowies and Eurobodalla,” Mr Osborne said.
“While having the head office located in Merimbula will be convenient for us, the Destination Network's focus will be on destination development for the whole region.”
However, Mr Osborne admitted that Sapphire Coast Tourism has already begun working closely with the new network to ensure robust advocacy on our behalf.
Mr Osborne also shut down any questions about whether Destination Southern NSW would encroach on the work currently done by Sapphire Coast Tourism.
“As always, local tourism bodies will remain a vital cog in tourism, working hands on with local industry developing experiences and promoting regions,” he said.
“In our case, in partnership with Bega Valley Shire Council, we will remain deeply immersed in the job of improving tourism outcomes on the Sapphire Coast.”
Member for Bega Andrew Constance said the announcement was “wonderful news for our region”.
“More activity across our region means more jobs and boosted local economies and these next steps reaffirm the government’s continued focus to grow rural and regional tourism,” he said.