Tourism Snowy Mountains (TSM), the driving force behind building the tourism industry in the Snowy Monaro region for over 20 years, is calling on Snowy Monaro Regional Council (SMRC) to clarify its intentions for tourism development in the area.
The Snowy Mountains region has long been recognised as a premier tourist destination, with tourism being the greatest contributor to the regional economy. According to visitor statistics from Destination NSW (as of September 2022), a staggering 1.7 million visitors flocked to the Snowy Mountains. On average, visitors spent $339 per night and stayed 3.8 nights, culminating in $1.4 billion in visitor expenditure. This is substantial growth from 2019 when the visitor economy was worth $700 million.
Despite tourism being a crucial economic pillar for the Snowy Monaro region, SMRC has allocated only $70,000 for tourism development in its latest operating budget. Regrettably, with the exception of $5,000, this funding has not been earmarked for TSM, the organisation that has spearheaded tourism growth in the region for over two decades. There is now uncertainty surrounding how SMRC intends to spend the tourism allocation and how it plans to promote the region effectively with this limited funding and SMRC’s lack of specialist tourism marketing staff.
As an organisation committed to building a sustainable year-round visitor economy in the Snowy Mountains, TSM collaborates closely with local businesses, stakeholders, and all levels of government. The not-for-profit organisation takes pride in providing leadership and support to the local tourism industry through destination awareness campaigns and industry support programs. TSM’s funding partners include Snowy Hydro, Vail Resorts, Thredbo, Blyton Group, and National Parks and Wildlife Service, all of which recognise the importance of year-round tourism and the significant benefits it brings to the region.
It is disheartening that in 2021, the SMRC chose to reduce its funding to TSM from $60,000 to $5,000, an amount that fails to reflect the immense value of tourism to the Snowy Mountains and the work TSM has put into building a strong visitor economy.
Recently, TSM presented a compelling business case to SMRC, demonstrating how reinstating the $60,000 funding would generate substantial growth with a remarkable return of $6.15 for every $1 invested. Despite this potential, SMRC is yet to increase its contribution beyond $5,000.
As a result of the significant reduction in financial support, it’s no longer viable for TSM to continue promoting tourism across the entire Snowy Monaro LGA. Consequently, the strategic decision has been made to narrow the organisation’s focus and prioritise promotion of the region’s primary visitor areas and assets. Concentrating on key locations such as the snow resorts, national park and regional hubs will enable TSM to maximise the impact of our destination marketing initiatives.
TSM urges SMRC to re-evaluate its allocation for tourism development and consider the substantial benefits and potential growth that investing in TSM will bring. By supporting TSM’s efforts to promote the Snowy Mountains as a premier tourist destination, SMRC will not only bolster the region’s economy but also enhance its financial sustainability. In addition, TSM calls upon SMRC to engage in open dialogue with the public regarding its plan for supporting tourism in the Snowy Monaro.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Janet Mackay – Chair, Tourism Snowy Mountains
0402 152 613
About Tourism Snowy Mountains
Tourism Snowy Mountains is the peak body for destination marketing and tourism business development in the Snowy Mountains region. The organisation is made up of representatives from major tourism businesses in the Snowy Mountains along with skills-based Directors who work together voluntarily to grow year-round visitation and build the tourism industry.
Tourism Snowy Mountains has been in existence for over twenty years and works to maintain relationships between the local industry and Government organisations such as Destination Southern NSW, Destination NSW, and Tourism Australia.
As custodians of the Snowy Mountains brand, Tourism Snowy Mountains seeks to enhance awareness and appeal of the region, increase the brand’s social value, and deliver on our organisation’s vision; “to work collaboratively with industry and government to deliver effective marketing activities and maximum opportunity for Australia’s most desirable nature-based adventure destination.”