Rural and regional NSW will get its fair share of the State’s rapidly growing tourism pie with a NSW Nationals Minister announcing the first regional tourism target.

Making the announcement at AgQuip in Gunnedah, Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said the Nationals in Government would work with industry to reach an ambitious target of $20 billion in visitor expenditure in rural and regional NSW by 2025, rising to $25 billion by 2030.

“We’ve set the State’s first regional tourism target, so that every corner of NSW gets its fair share of the record tourist dollars and investment coming into our State,” Mr Marshall said. “The tourism sector in NSW has never been stronger – we are by far the number one destination for domestic and international tourists by every measure. But our current Statewide tourism target has Sydney as the heavy lifter getting us to number one. It’s now time to look beyond Sydney and do the work needed to turbocharge tourism in our rural and regional areas and double the current record levels of visitor expenditure.”

Mr Marshall said the regional target was about keeping tourist dollars in NSW for as long as possible instead of letting them disappear elsewhere.

“This is an ambitious target but one that is certainly achievable,” Mr Marshall said. “We want international tourists flying into Sydney and heading out to rural and regional NSW, rather than flying to Melbourne or Brisbane. A tourism target for rural and regional NSW is our commitment to local operators, businesses, pubs, cafes and hotels – from the coast to the bush – that the Nationals in Government will ensure everyone gets a fair share of the State’s tourism boom.”

The regional target will be supported by a range of initiatives to encourage greater visitation to rural and regional NSW. This includes increased funding for marketing campaigns, more rural and regional events, improved tourism infrastructure and measures to address skills shortages in the tourism and hospital sectors.