Wagga Wagga hosts 2024 Visitor Economy Conference

Wagga Wagga City Council will join forces with neighboring councils to host the 2024 Local Government NSW Destination and Visitor Economy Conference, which is expected to draw hundreds of attendees from across the state.

Coolamon Shire Council and Jooney Shire Council and Jooney Shire Council joined Wagga Wagga City Council in a successful bid to host the conference, which runs from Tuesday to 30 May 2024.

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) Chair Cr Darria Turley AM congratulated the three councils on their successful bid to host the 2024 event.

„I’m delighted that next year’s conference will be held in the fantastic Wagga Wagga + surrounding area,” Cr Turley said.

“With more than 1.3 million visitors to the area annually, Wagga Wagga City Council, along with Coolamon Shire Council and Junee Shire Council, have put together a fantastic initiative and I wish them the best of luck in bringing more eyeballs to the area.

“This annual event is designed to bring councilors and council staff together to discuss ways to improve councils’ visitor economic potential and achieve sustainable growth.

„In its key visitor statistics report, Destination NSW said domestic arrivals to NSW continued to increase until the end of December 2022, and the state topped Australia in terms of international and domestic overnight and day trip visitors, nights and total spend.

“Councils are key facilitators of the sector and now more than ever, look to pursue innovative strategies and opportunities to attract visitors and secure economic benefits for their communities.

„We want to continue that upward trend and this important event will help give councils the tools they need.”

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Wagga Wagga City Council Mayor Dallas Dowd said the region is excited to host next year’s conference and looks forward to welcoming colleagues and delegates from across the state.

„Hosting this conference in the city is a great opportunity for our region and wider NSW to share innovative and new ideas, dive deep into contemporary challenges and showcase our successes as a leading regional tourism destination,” Cr Tout said.

“Our vibrant and thriving regional city offers beautiful natural landscapes, trails and waterways, arts and culture, incredible produce and food experiences, as well as a diverse calendar of events to keep visitors coming back year-round.

„Not only will our city be the main host of the event, but we are working with our neighbors Zuni and Coolamon Shire to showcase what our wider region has to offer and demonstrate how successful partnerships can be built.”

Coolamon Shire Council Mayor David McCann OAM said he was excited about the opportunity to promote his region at the conference and to raise awareness of all that next year’s delegates have to offer.

“It provides an opportunity to showcase our local attractions, experiences and operators,” Cr McCann OAM said.

„We have a strong relationship with our neighbors from Wagga Wagga City Council and Junee Shire Council and are delighted to be working with them to deliver a fantastic conference that showcases what we have to offer.”

Junie Shire Council general manager James Davies agreed.

„These partnerships are incredibly important for tourism, particularly in regional areas, where collaboration adds more to the visitor experience,” Mr Davies said.

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Cr Turley said the co-hosting approach, first adopted by Orange, Cabonne and Blayney councils in 2022, was a clear example of the role of collaboration in sharing and maximizing the economic benefits of tourism in regional NSW.

„With this approach, we all win – including our visitors, because they get to experience even more of the richness and beauty that our region has to offer,” he said.

“Our three successful 2024 co-hosts are now hard at work developing the conference program and it is already clear that the event will be a real showcase of the region’s diverse visitor experiences.

„I look forward to our 2024 representatives – both councilors and council staff involved in the tourism sector – being there in May next year.”

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