Shoalhaven City Council over the past two years has undertaken and number of initiatives to drive the domestic and international tourism economy in order to stay relevant in a fast changing industry.

• Operator relationships:
– A detailed survey of the local industry, identifying issues and what the community wanted
– Staff spend time out in region visiting business
– Regional forums and training partnerships
• International tourism:
– A joint partnership with a private company and DNSW to target the Chinese and Korean markets. This initiative has resulted in significant increases (40%+) in the number of tourists visiting from these regions, the intuitive involved direct marketing to wholesalers in these markets and developing local product that was market ready
• Visitor Information Services; Shoalhaven undertook a total review of the way in which services where provided, results included a new dynamic and flexible strategy with customer needs the focus:
– Closing of the standalone VIC in Nowra to a multi function venue.
– Increased staff famils
– Upgrades to digital assets
– Satellite centres and increased availably of staff to support operators
– Greater distribution of visitors guides, both digital and hard copy
• Staff Structure:
– The creation of key marketing and events/investment specialist position
• Development of a marketing strategy, including:
– Online assets and content creation.
– Direct employment of a photographer for a 12 month period to capture the heart and soul of the Shoalhaven and provide market ready images for local operators at no cost.
– Contracting journalists to deliver relevant content throughout the year
– PR; achieving amazing results with a PR famil program, targeting key markets to key media to assist in content creation and public perception
– Partnering with strong local businesses to raise the profile of the region, for example the recent ‘our stories’ series produced with Bannisters

Craig Milburn
Director Corporate and Community Services
www.shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au