Wagga Wagga + Surrounds to host major 2024 visitor economy conference
Wagga Wagga City Council will join with neighbour councils to host the 2024 Local Government NSW Destination and Visitor Economy Conference, expected to draw hundreds of participants from across the state.
Coolamon Shire Council and Junee Shire Council joined with Wagga Wagga City Council in a successful collaborative bid to host the Conference, which takes place from Tuesday 28 to Thursday 30 May 2024.
Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Cr Darriea Turley AM congratulated the three councils on their successful bid to host the 2024 event.
“I am delighted that next year’s conference will take place in the fantastic Wagga Wagga + Surrounds region,” Cr Turley said.
“With more than 1.3 million visitors to the region annually, Wagga Wagga City Council, along with Coolamon Shire Council and Junee Shire Council, put together a terrific bid and I congratulate them on the opportunity to draw more eyes to the region.
“This annual event is designed to bring councillors and council staff together to discuss ways to enhance councils’ visitor economy potential and achieve sustainable growth.
“Destination NSW noted in its key visitor statistics report that domestic visitation to NSW continued to trend upwards to the end of December 2022, and the state remains number one in Australia for total volume of international and domestic overnight and day trip visitors, nights, and expenditure.
“Councils are key facilitators of the sector and are now more than ever, looking to adopt innovative strategies and opportunities to attract visitors and secure economic benefits for their communities.
“We want to continue that upwards trend and this important event will help give councils the tools they need to make that happen.”
Wagga Wagga City Council Mayor Dallas Tout said he was thrilled the region would be hosting next year’s conference and looked forward to welcoming colleagues and representatives from across the state.
“Having this conference held in the city is a great opportunity for our region and wider NSW to come together to share innovative and new ideas, deep dive into contemporary challenges and showcase our successes as a leading regional tourism destination,” Cr Tout said.
“Our vibrant and thriving regional city offers beautiful natural landscapes, trails and waterways, arts and culture, incredible produce, and food-based experiences, as well as a diverse calendar of events to keep visitors coming back year-round.
“Not only will our city be the main host of the event, but we are also working with our neighbours Junee and Coolamon Shire to showcase a small taste of what our wider region has to offer and demonstrate how successful partnerships can be created."
Coolamon Shire Council Mayor David McCann OAM said he was excited his region would have a chance to be promoted at the conference and grow awareness of everything it had to offer to next year’s delegates.
“This gives us an opportunity to showcase our local attractions, experiences and operators,” Cr McCann OAM said.
“We have a strong relationship with our neighbours from Wagga Wagga City Council and Junee Shire Council and are thrilled to work with them to deliver an exciting conference showcasing what we have on offer.”
Junee Shire Council General Manager James Davis agreed.
“These partnerships are incredibly important for tourism, especially in regional areas, where collaboration offers more for visitors to experience," Mr Davis said.
Cr Turley said the co-hosting approach, first adopted by Orange, Cabonne and Blayney councils in 2022, was a clear illustration of the role collaboration could play in sharing and maximising the economic benefits of tourism in regional NSW.
"With this approach, we all win - including our visitors, because they get to enjoy even more of the richness and beauty on offer in our region," she said.
"Our three successful 2024 co-hosts are now hard at work developing the Conference Program, and already it is evident that the event will be a true showcase of the region's diverse visitor experiences.
"I look forward to seeing our 2024 delegates - both councillor's and council staff involved in the tourism sector - there in May next year."
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