Skip to main content

Tourism and Transport Plan

Customer Outcome 4: A seamless experience

Our collaboration and partnerships with transport service providers, tourism operators, across Government and with local councils all work to create a seamless experience for visitors.


Packaging experiences

New service models will enable transport service providers to package their services with destination experiences.


Mobility as a Service

Transport for NSW will investigate ways to support the emergence of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) models that can be tailored to the needs of visitor groups or individuals. MaaS is a service model that enables customers to plan and pay for their journeys using a range of services via a single customer interface. It has the potential to enable customers to access integrated, easy-to-understand journeys in a broad market of transport services. In a fully operational service model, the MaaS provider would sell seamless multimodal journeys, offer convenient payment methods such as subscription services, and communicate directly with customers.

These transport options could include not just public transport but point to point services (for example taxi, ride share and bicycle share) and can be bundled with other visitor experiences, like events. Access to this technology will be enabled in more locations in regional NSW through the NSW Government’s partnership with the Australian Government and mobile phone carriers to eliminate up to 795 mobile black spots across the State14.


Servicing events, festivals and peak holiday times

Events, festivals and peak holiday periods bring many visitors to NSW and improve the performance of the tourism industry for the benefit of the wider community.

Getting visitors to their destinations presents transport and coordination challenges. Transport for NSW coordinates with Destination NSW and event managers to facilitate access to upcoming events and provide regional event support. This includes organising additional public transport services during major events like Vivid Sydney and special services to get to regional events like the annual Elvis Express train to the Parkes Elvis Festival and the Broken Heel Festival.

The Transport Management Centre has responsibility for safely managing travel to major events.

Its role is to:

  • ensure the safe separation of event patrons, participants and volunteers from traffic
  • manage the reduced capacity of the road system
  • minimise the traffic impact on the non-event community and the emergency services, and
  • minimise costs.

We recognise there is more we can do to better coordinate for events, festivals and peak holiday periods and welcome feedback on how we could do this.

Event Signage

Transport for NSW has developed a system of pink signage to support visitors to use public transport between major events.

The pink signage system is designed as a temporary response to assist customers navigating the transport network when changes to their journey occur due to a major event or major transport disruption.


Integrating tourism into transport planning

Delivering and coordinating with partners in the tourism and transport industries, local government and NSW Government agencies is needed to ensure a seamless experience for visitors and further grow the visitor economy.

Creating attractive and vibrant places that are well connected to the transport network will also help boost tourism. A recent example is the plan to upgrade Circular Quay where a decision was made to leverage Government investment to unlock private capital. This will allow a whole-ofprecinct renewal that includes retail, dining and entertainment attractions as well as a modern transport interchange.

It is important that tourism needs are incorporated into transport planning as visitors are not accustomed to our transport facilities. This ensures services will be easier to use. Tourism and special events are considered in the design and operation of new infrastructure such as the CBD and South East Light Rail Project. Planning for the renewal of Circular Quay will incorporate heritage values and tourism needs. We will keep Sydney open for business during construction of transport infrastructure by planning, wayfinding and working with businesses and tourism operators. We will improve access to regional train stations with coaches, local buses and point to point services.

Packaging experiences

  0-10 years committed 0-10 years for investigation
Investigate ways to support the emergence of Mobility as a Service models that can be tailored to the needs of visitor groups or individuals, including destination products   -

Servicing events, festivals and peak holiday times

  0-10 years committed 0-10 years for investigation
Sponsorship of major events can include transport as part of the event ticket -  
Transport management for major events includes additional public transport services -  
Sydney Ferries Vivid timetable - additional services to ensure customers can enjoy Vivid from Sydney Harbour and vantage points around the harbour -  
Cooperative campaigns with MojoSurf under a formal MOU (including exclusive fares for MojoSurf customers on regional trains) -  
Elvis Express special train - Special themed service to/from Parkes Elvis Festival annually, packed with event offers -  
Regional event support - negotiated exclusive fares and capacity on selected services to identified regional events (eg: Orange Food Train, Port Macquarie Beatles Festival, Bathurst 1000, Newcastle 500, Tamworth Country Music Festival) -  
Manage on-water aspects of major aquatic events like New Year’s Eve and the Sydney to Hobart -  
Roll out holiday ‘park and ride’ at more holiday destinations   -
Increased frequency of public transport services to precincts for mid to large sized sports/entertainment/cultural events   -
Mini buses to regional events   -

Integrating tourism into transport planning

  0-10 years committed 0-10 years for investigation
Tourism and events considered in the operation of new infrastructure like the CBD and South East Light Rail -  
Planning of Circular Quay precinct renewal incorporating tourism needs -  
Keeping Sydney open for business alongside construction disruption: events planning, signage and wayfinding, working with coaches and hotels -  
Increase transport services to serve peak visitor demand in regional areas and on Sydney Harbour   -
Ease congestion resulting from conflict between pedestrian visitors and commuters at prime visitor attractors e.g. Circular Quay and CBD stations   -
Precinct Masterplans with integrated services (tourism, transport, services and amenities, etc), coordinated across all levels of Government   -
Improve relationships with regional councils/tourist operators   -
In outer metro and regional rail stations, TfNSW to partner with car hire/car share companies to offer vehicles for visitor use.   -


Collaboration and partnerships

The Future Transport Strategy and Plans introduce new ways of problem solving that fit within our vision-led approach to planning. One of the key differences in this new approach, compared with more traditional methods, is that the NSW Government sets a vision and outcomes across several agencies even before we start identifying problems. This gives us a clear picture about the outcomes we want for our customers and the community and lets us identify obstacles to realising these outcomes.

A key feature of this approach is co-design – a high level of collaboration and decision making. From the first stages of planning we will engage all levels of government, customers and industry, to test our understanding of problems and harness their innovation to develop the best possible solutions.

In developing solutions, we are also using a new approach based on intensively testing problems from a customer perspective – understanding what drives their preferences, and impacts their travel experiences.

We will 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.

Destination Networks

In 2016, Destination NSW established six Destination Networks across NSW. These Destination Networks facilitate visitor economy growth at the local level, through representing and co-ordinating the region’s tourism industry. Each Destination Network has a Destination Management Plan which includes initiatives that the NSW Transport cluster of agencies can support.

Destination North Coast

The NSW North Coast is the third biggest tourism region in Australia and comprises the costal centres east of the Great Dividing Range from Tweed Heads to Hawks Nest. In the year ending June 2017, there were 19.9 million domestic and 3.6 million international overnight stays in the region.

The North Coast Destination Management Plan identifies seven experience platforms to drive and coordinate tourism product experience development across the North Coast over the next four years. Nature experiences differentiate the North Coast from other coastal regions and are the key focus of the Destination Management Plan. The seven experience platforms for the North Coast are:

  1. Nature experiences
  2. Caravan and Camping
  3. Food and Local Produce
  4. Arts, Heritage and Aboriginal Tourism
  5. Events
  6. Health, Wellbeing and Alternative Lifestyles
  7. Business Events.

A key transport priority for the North Coast is the need for critical road infrastructure and improved signage to better facilitate these experiences. The NSW Transport cluster also has a role to play in working with Destination North Coast and other agencies to encourage regional dispersal – including the development of trails and touring routes. The North Coast Destination Network intends to develop a Bike Tourism Strategy for the North Coast.


Destination Country and Outback

The Destination Network Country and Outback is a diverse area that covers 61.2 per cent of NSW. It comprises Outback NSW, New England and North West, Greater Western Plains and Country NSW. In 2017 overnight visitor expenditure within the Country and Outback Destination Network area totalled $2.6 billion, with a compounding annual rate of growth of four percent since 2008.

The Country and Outback Destination Management Plan takes a strategic approach to maintaining existing tourism markets while also targeting new higher-value markets. The Plan identifies seven strategic themes which highlight the points of difference of the region compared with other destinations and provide a high-level experience framework:

  1. Celebrating Culture on Country
  2. Wine-lovers and Foodie Finds
  3. Unlimited Horizons
  4. Exploring our Nature
  5. Revealing our Heritage
  6. Little Places, Big Stories
  7. Events and Conferences.

The NSW Transport cluster can help to enable local level initiatives that will underpin these themes through:

  • The infrastructure and road signage to develop experientially-led touring routes and signage and facilitating travel
  • Promotion and access to events, festivals and destinations in the region.


Destination Southern NSW

Destination Southern NSW stretches from the South Coast of NSW to the Snowy Monaro and across to the Canberra Region Tablelands. Total income from tourism across the region is almost $1.6 billion per year supporting 2,630 tourism businesses. There is growing interest in cycling, adventure and nature based activities in the region as well as self-drive holidays.

The Southern NSW Destination Management Plan identifies five game-changer projects that will lead to growing the visitor economy for the region:

  1. Savour the Southern activation
  2. Regional approach to Drive Tourism and cross-regional linking products
  3. Experience and product development
  4. Building destination appeal supported by itineraries and product clusters
  5. Support for events.

Transport has a key role to play in enabling these projects through improving visitor access and flows through the region by improving connectivity in road infrastructure and enabling the development of three rail trails identified in the Destination Management Plan.


Destination Riverina Murray

The Riverina Murray Destination network comprises the Snowy Valleys, Albury-Hume, Riverina regional centres and the food bowls of Griffith and Wagga Wagga, Central Murray towns of Cowra, Echuca and Deniliquin and the outback Riverina with strong cross-border connections. In 2017 the Riverina Murray region attracted 5.3 million visitors. Daytrip visitors comprised 55 percent of visitors to the region (2.9 million) and overnight visitors comprised 45 percent (2.3 million).The Riverina Murray Destination Management Plan projects a growth to 8.6 million visitor nights in the region by 2031.

The Riverina Murray Destination Management Plan identifies nine overarching strategic development themes to harness the tourism opportunities of the region:

  1. Major Centre Development
  2. Nature-Based Tourism
  3. Rivers and waterways
  4. Food and Agritourism
  5. Major touring routes
  6. Sport and Recreation
  7. Festivals and Events
  8. Accommodation
  9. Infrastructure and Servicing.

The NSW Transport cluster has a role to play in supporting these directions through placemaking, boating infrastructure, servicing events and festivals and highway upgrades and signage to support rationalised touring routes for targeted investment and promotion. The Destination Management Plan looks to establish the Snowy Valleys as the rail trail region of NSW and identifies five rail trails for ongoing support including the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Pilot Rail Trail currently under development.


Destination Sydney Surrounds North

Destination Sydney Surrounds North includes the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Central Coast and Hunter regions. In 2017 the area generated $4.07 billion in visitor expenditure equating to 12.3 percent of the NSW visitor economy.

The Sydney Surrounds North Destination Management Plan identifies seven strategic priorities:

  1. Advocate for the local Visitor Economy and foster greater collaboration between regions within the area
  2. Facilitate destination infrastructure development
  3. Facilitate product and experience development
  4. Facilitate major events and conference growth
  5. Maximise the benefits of regional tourism funding programs
  6. Facilitate industry skills development and knowledge
  7. Improve destination marketing effectiveness.

The NSW Transport cluster can help achieve these priorities through:

  • Improved public transport connections
  • Place-making enhancements on main streets to contribute to revitalisation of destination
  • Improved road connections through mountains to provide better connections to nature based activities
  • Improvements to cycle paths to enable food and wine, nature and soft adventure activities (particularly in the Hunter).


Destination Sydney Surrounds South

Destination Sydney Surrounds South comprises the Illawarra, Wollondilly, Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven. In 2017 $1.77 billion was injected by overnight visitors into the local economy with an average annual growth rate of four percent since 2013.

The Sydney and Surrounds South Destination Management Plan establishes six strategic imperatives:

  1. Cohesive Destination Management
  2. Destination Infrastructure
  3. Collaborative Destination Marketing
  4. Product and Experience Development
  5. Events and Conferencing
  6. Industry Skills Development.

The NSW Transport cluster can help achieve these priorities through:

  • Improved public transport and road connections from Sydney
  • Assistance with the development of cycleway infrastructure including the planned Mittagong to Moss Vale cycleway
  • Progressing improved rail connections from South West Sydney.


Local councils

Councils across NSW work with local tourism operators to develop better products and experiences for visitors to their regions. Transport for NSW has partnered with councils to develop local transport services, policy, signage and information. Tourism road signage across NSW is a collaborative effort between Roads and Maritime Services, Destination NSW and councils.

The Transport cluster will continue to work to strengthen collaboration with councils across NSW.

Diversifying transport options to expand tourism in the Snowy Mountains and South Coast

Snowy-Monaro Regional Council (SMRC) is a newly formed Council that covers a large area in the strategic corridor between Canberra-Queanbeyan and the NSW South Coast. Within this region is one of Australia’s marquee tourism destinations: the Snowy Mountains. The region attracts 1.2 million visitors annually with the vast majority relying on private vehicle trips. In the winter months the influx of visitors can cause major traffic delays and the council is investigating and implementing strategies to increase non-winter tourism in the region to make the Snowy Mountains a year round destination.

NSW Train Link operates regional coach services connecting people to key locations around the region including Jindabyne, Cooma, Tumut, Tumbarumba, Berridale, Dalgety and Bombala. Connections in the region between Canberra Airport and the Port of Eden to major visitor destinations will support growth of the visitor economy in the region.

Transport for NSW will continue to work together with council to investigate new options for transport to safely accommodate growing visitor numbers within the region throughout the year.


Honouring Aboriginal connection to the land

In looking four decades ahead, Future Transport 2056 acknowledges the more than 40,000 years of continuous Aboriginal connection to the land that has brought NSW to where it is today. Future Transport 2056 supports OCHRE (Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility and Empowerment), the NSW Government’s plan to improve outcomes for Aboriginal peoples. Future Transport 2056 also acknowledges the special role to be played by the transport sector in strengthening Aboriginal communities. By forging partnerships with Aboriginal communities, new initiatives can be identified that will bring more Aboriginal people into the business of tourism and transport and share in the economic and other benefits of the State’s growth.

Six principles for Future Transport

The Future Transport 2056 Strategy is focused on six key principles for the future of mobility in the state, which together aim to positively impact the economy, communities and environment of NSW.

Read more