Parkes Shire Council hosted more than 200 delegates at the 2018 Local Government NSW Tourism Conference this week. The theme of the conference was "Tourism: It all adds up!"
Tourism managers, Mayors, Councillors, industry professionals and volunteers from around New South Wales attended. The conference was presented in conjunction with Destination NSW and included workshops, case studies and panel discussions. It was an opportunity "to listen to and learn from industry leaders on a range of topics relevant to developing, sustaining, and marketing the regional visitor economy."
The main conference on Tuesday and Wednesday was preceded by an optional Accredited Visitor Information Centres Summit on Monday. These centres carry a gold i logo on a blue background which are instantly recognisable. The centres are often the first point of call for visitors coming into an unfamiliar town or city.
On Monday evening NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall opened the conference. The Mayor of Parkes Ken Keith welcomed those in attendance to the town.
Earlier Mayor Keith said, “business events, such as the LGNSW Tourism Conference, contribute close to $30 billion a year in direct expenditure nationally, according the most recent Business Events Council of Australia”.
The conference included discussions on short-term holiday lettings, successful destination campaigns; the growth of the camping and caravanning sector and the benefits of a night-time economy.
Parkes Shire Destination Development Manager Kelly Hendry said, “visitors had the opportunity to engage in a range of local experiences, with site visits showcasing recent improvements to the Peak Hill Gold Mine, the reinvigoration of Trundle and how the Henry Parkes Centre ties together a number of tourism icons.”
“Organisers, delegates, VIPs, observers and even locals have all been extremely glowing in their remarks on how well the conference ran.
“The highlight of the conference was the Night with the stars dinner held at the Parkes Radio Telescope, complete with observations by the Central West Astronomical Society, a performance by local songstresses Amitie, and a guest appearance by actor Roy Billing who played the Parkes Mayor in the 2000 Australian film, The Dish. “