A 20-year strategy for South Coast tourism hopes to increase visitor numbers and keep pace with growing infrastructure needs.
Parliamentary Secretary for the South Coast and member for Kiama Gareth Ward, and member for South Coast Shelley Hancock launched the 20-year NSW South Coast Marine Tourism Strategy at Moorhouse Park in Nowra on Monday, February 11.
Mr Ward said that the strategy would help local, state and Commonwealth Governments work together with the tourism industry to unlock the full potential of the region’s unique offerings, such as whale watching cruises and surf schools.
“Ten million people visited the South Coast in 2017 and, given those numbers are set to surge to 14 million by 2030, we need to ensure the region is ready to receive the influx of tourists,” he said.
“This document examines peak periods to the shoulder season. We recognise it’s not just about peak season, it’s about doing things in the shoulder season that brings people here when the beaches might not be as pleasant.”
Ms Hancock said the strategy included quarterly committee meetings, and a focus on infrastructure.
“Most people come to or live in the South Coast because of our marine waterways and national parks,” she said.
“We’re experiencing problems with our infrastructure now. We’re also seeing some pressure on our local beaches, such as Hyams Beach, so we want to make sure visitors know about every other beach in the Shoalhaven.
“This is a 20 year plan to maximise tourism potential through our marine assets – everything from boat ramps to wharves, and work on our harbours and beaches.
“This document will make sure all stakeholders come together, to maximise funding opportunities. We will have a committee that will meet four times a year.”