Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has announced the Cootamundra electorate will get its fair share of the State’s rapidly growing tourism pie with the NSW Government announcing the State’s first regional tourism target to double the current spend.

Ms Cooke said the NSW Government would work with industry to reach an ambitious target of $20 billion in visitor expenditure in rural and regional NSW by 2025, rising to $25 billion in 2030.

“This is a win for local economies across the Cootamundra electorate,” she said.

“Our part of the world has so many wonderful places to visit and I’m certain that we can contribute more than our fair share of this $20 billion goal.

“A regional tourism target is great news for our local tourism operators and other businesses including accommodation providers, restaurants, hotels and retailers, who all benefit from more visitors coming to town.

“I’m proud to be part of a Government which is putting money into regional tourism businesses to help them draw in visitors and enjoy growth while boosting our economies,” she added.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said the regional target was about keeping tourist dollars in NSW for as long as possible instead of letting them disappear elsewhere.

“This is an ambitious target but one that is certainly achievable,” Mr Marshall said.

“We want international tourists flying into Sydney and heading out to rural and regional NSW, rather than flying to Melbourne or Brisbane.

“A tourism target for rural and regional NSW is our commitment to local operators, businesses, pubs, cafes and hotels – from the coast to the bush – that the NSW Government will ensure everyone gets a fair share of the State’s tourism boom.”

The regional target will be supported by a range of initiatives by the NSW Government to encourage greater visitation to rural and regional NSW.

This includes increased funding for marketing campaigns, more rural and regional events, improved tourism infrastructure and measures to address skills shortages in the tourism and hospitality sectors.