Introduction

Future Transport 2056 comprises an overarching strategy and a suite of supporting plans. It is an update of NSW’s Long Term Transport Master Plan released in 2012. It has been developed in concert with the Greater Sydney Commission’s A Metropolis of Three Cities, Infrastructure NSW’s State Infrastructure Strategy, and the Department of Planning and Environment’s Regional Plans, to provide an integrated vision for the state.

The Tourism and Transport Plan is a key Supporting Plan in the Future Transport 2056 suite, and is aligned with the Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan, the Greater Sydney Services and Infrastructure Plan and the NSW Freight and Ports Plan. The Tourism and Transport Plan focuses on what the Transport cluster of agencies can do to deliver on the NSW Government’s state-wide targets for the visitor economy set in the Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan 2030. It was developed in collaboration with the tourism sector and will inform the state-wide Tourism Infrastructure Strategy.

Future Transport Strategy

The Future Transport Strategy is a vision for how transport can support growth and the economy of New South Wales over the next 40 years. It provides a framework for network planning and investment aimed at harnessing rapid change and innovation to support a modern, innovative transport system that serves the community and economy well into the 21st century.

Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan 2030

In 2012, the NSW Government established the Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan (VEIAP)  and set the ambitious target to double overnight visitor expenditure to $36.6 billion by 2020. This included actions for the NSW Transport cluster which were incorporated into the 2012 NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan and are underway or completed.

In September 2017, the NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events launched a mid-term review of the 2012 VEIAP. This review has culminated in the Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan 2030 which updates and extends the 2012 plan and targets.

The Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan 2030 sets targets for NSW to:

  • more than triple 2009 overnight visitor expenditure to 2030, aiming to achieve $45 billion by 2025 and $55 billion by 2030, and
  • achieve $20 billion in regional overnight visitor expenditure by 2025 and $25 billion by 2030, in alignment with the overall 2030 target.

To help drive growth in the Sydney and regional visitor economies, the Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan 2030 sets a direction for the NSW Government to invest in new ways to support the visitor economy through:

  • a new Team Tourism NSW Taskforce of industry leaders to improve visitor economy collaboration
  • increased funding and accountability for the Destination Networks
  • the development and release of a state-wide Destination Management Plan, nature based tourism strategy and tourism infrastructure strategy
  • a new industry portal, and
  • a new Visitor Economy Index designed to complement the expenditure targets by tracking industry conditions, perceptions and the future industry outlook over time.

The role of transport in the visitor economy

Customers from overseas, interstate and visiting from elsewhere in NSW expect transport services that are accessible, comfortable, easy to use and connected to destinations. This plan focuses on how transport policy, assets and services can support the visitor economy in NSW.

Visitor economy customer outcomes

Four customer outcomes were co-developed with the NSW Tourism and Transport sector that align with the Future Transport 2056 customer outcomes. These outcomes are designed to guide the work of the NSW Transport cluster of agencies over the next decade as we refine, develop and deliver policy, services and infrastructure.

1.    Enhancing the visitor experience

Meeting the transport needs of customers visiting our cities and regions means ensuring services are accessible, comfortable, easy to use and suitable for people travelling in groups, carrying luggage and travelling outside of peak hours and weekends to popular visitor destinations.

New technologies will make planning, booking and paying for travel and wayfinding on transport services easier.

2.    Greater access to more of NSW

Transport is essential in connecting visitors to our cities and regions. By improving existing connections and expanding connections to new destinations, transport can create new visitor experiences across the state and support new industries and employment in regional communities.

3.    Making transport the attraction

Transport not only gets visitors to destinations, but can also be an attraction in itself. Heritage tours, walking and cycling trails, and iconic journeys by road, rail and sea all contribute to attracting visitors to NSW.

4.    A seamless experience

When visiting NSW, our customers use a variety of both public and privately operated services to reach and explore their destinations. Seamless connections between airports, cruise ship terminals, mass transit services, on-demand services and car and bike rentals will enhance the experience for visitors. This experience is enabled by planning and coordination with private operators and across government within NSW and interstate.

What Transport can do

There are five key areas of focus where the NSW Transport cluster of agencies can support the visitor economy in NSW:

  • Ticketing
  • Information
  • Services
  • Infrastructure
  • Planning and coordination of transport.

There are initiatives the NSW Transport cluster of agencies is undertaking under each of these categories and new initiatives identified for further investigation.

The initiatives identified for investigation in this Plan aim to support the unique tourism opportunities in each region and will help implement Destination Management Plans that have been developed by the six Destination Networks across NSW.

Customer and stakeholder engagement in developing this Plan

There has been extensive engagement with customers and stakeholders in the development of this plan as part of a wider consultation process for Future Transport 2056. A draft Tourism and Transport Plan was released in October 2017 along with the draft Future Transport Strategy and Greater Sydney and Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plans.

Council and industry workshops and public information stalls were held in 30 locations around the state between November 2016 and December 2017. Customers were invited to provide input and feedback via the Future Transport 2056 website as short comments or through more formal written submissions on the draft plan.

We received submissions from local councils, industry bodies, community groups, other government agencies, and members of the public. Overall, our engagement campaign for the draft plan provided 75 formal submissions and 77 website comments from individual members of the public.

Formal submission were received from:

  • 50 individuals, including small business owners
  • 13 local councils (10 from regional NSW)
  • 7 private enterprises
  • 7 advocacy and community groups and academics.

In reviewing the comments and submissions we have heard how important tourism is for the development of our regional communities and have refined the plan to better prioritise connecting visitors to the many and varied destinations in regional NSW.

We heard more needs to be done to attract and cater for visitors to inland rural and regional NSW by creating better connections across the Great Dividing Range to the west and upgrades to major roads infrastructure, such as upgrades to the Newel Highway, as well as more rest stops and signage.

We have also heard from regional coastal centres of the opportunity enabled by the growing cruise ship industry with upgrades to ports and terminals and connections to regional visitor sites and venues.

We have refined this plan based on the feedback to improve the way the transport system supports the visitor economy across the state. The extensive list of initiatives set out in the Greater Sydney and Regional NSW Service and Infrastructure Plans will address many of the concerns raised in the submissions for infrastructure upgrades. The other initiatives that are included in this Plan address the concerns raised that specifically relate to our four visitor economy customer outcomes.