More people visit NSW than any other state or territory in Australia. Visitors are increasingly seeking opportunities to experience NSW’s unique Aboriginal culture and history, while regional NSW hosts multiple festivals and events. No other Australian state offers outback, country, alpine, coastal, and subtropical regions all within its borders. Cruise ship visits to regional NSW are growing, supported by related investment in the ports of Newcastle and Eden, leading to higher revenue and increased passenger and crew days.
Transport has the potential to support and enhance existing tourism as well as create new economic development opportunities. In recognition of the critical interconnect between transport and tourism in regional NSW, a supporting Tourism and Transport Plan has been developed as part of Future Transport 2056.
This plan provides a framework of customer outcomes for our visitors and initiatives to guide the work of the NSW Transport cluster over the next 10 years. These customer outcomes and initiatives are designed to harness emerging technology and service models as well as visitor trends. These demonstrate the role that the NSW Transport cluster will play in realising the NSW Government wide Visitor Economy 2030 State-wide and regional targets committed in the Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan. Customer outcomes and initiatives for investigation include:
Customer Outcome 1: Enhancing the visitor experience
Helping visitors plan their visit:
- Improved visitor information and regional promotion including through marketing on Transport services
- Improved online booking and packaging of regional services
- Using technology to help visitors safely plan their journey on regional roads.
Improved travel experiences to and from destinations:
- Further roll-out of contactless payment technology and improvements to customer information around ticketing for visitors
- Improved wayfinding for visitors, including increased use of digital platforms
- Better facilities at transport interchanges across the state
- Improved in-vehicle experiences with fleet upgrades.
- Development of place plans and integration of the Movement and Place framework to improve places on Transport owned assets that people visit
- Significant upgrades across our networks through our multimillion dollar Transport Accessibility Program to provide increased accessibility for visitors with disabilities
- Improved amenities and customer service on visitor routes.
Sharing the journey:
- Extending WiFi availability and phone/device recharge points across more services and interchanges
- Responding to customer feedback.
Customer Outcome 2: Greater access to more of NSW
Improved connections to our global gateways:
- Improved road, bus, train, walking and cycling connections to Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport in collaboration with Sydney Airport
- Design and business case for the North South Rail Link to Western Sydney Airport as part of the Western Sydney City Deal
- Investigate options to provide better connections to the Gold Coast Airport, Canberra Airport and Newcastle Airport
- Investigate Transport cluster related actions arising from the Cruise Development Plan.
Connecting visitors to the regions:
- Improved quality and availability of rest areas for tourists in regional areas including accessible facilities
- First and last mile road network improvements for regional visitor destinations
- Investigate economic opportunities of electric vehicles at tourism destinations and for the regional touring economy
- Main/High street improvements in regional towns
- Support Destination NSW to prepare a Tourist Drive strategy and supporting marketing campaign to increase regional overnight visitors and expenditure
- Evaluate outcomes of bypassed towns signage pilot and roll out to further bypassed towns if shown to be successful
- Work with Destination NSW to streamline the signposting application process and enhance tourist drive signposting in regional NSW
- Roll out of the hub-and-spoke model for regional transport services
- Improved links to national parks and nature based tourism
- Improved access to our Aboriginal and heritage precincts and attractions.
- Boost services to regional tourism destinations in line with the hub-and-spoke model
- Extend public transport services to support the night-time economy.
Customer Outcome 3: Making transport the attraction
Creating places with our transport assets:
- Re-purpose regional train stations and rail assets that are not being used for transport in ways that contribute to great places (e.g. for heritage/food and coffee/entertainment tourism/rail trails).
Growing transport as tourism:
- Supporting tourist and heritage trains
- Roll out the cycling towns program and consider the conversion of more rail trails to support regional bicycle and active tourism, where there is community support
- Investigate cross-government opportunities for a more strategic approach to maritime infrastructure investment.
Customer Outcome 4: A seamless experience
- Use emerging ‘Mobility as a Service’ models to package transport and destination products.
Servicing events, festivals and peak holiday times:
- Work with Destination NSW and event organisers to provide transport services for events and at peak visitor times.
Integrating tourism into transport planning:
- Coordinate with partners in the tourism and transport industry, local government and NSW Government agencies as we plan, deliver and manage transport infrastructure and services.
Collaboration and partnerships:
- Build new collaborative partnerships with customers, the community and industry as we continue to improve the way we deliver the infrastructure and services to support the visitor economy.