Sapphire Coast and Bega Valley Shire Tourism summit

The first ever, locally held tourism summit has brought key players in our tourism future to the Sapphire Coast for two perfect spring days.

Mayor Michael Britten hailed TourismFuture’14 as a resounding success and congratulated the Bega Valley Shire and Sapphire Coast Tourism teams who collaborated to organise the event. “It had the highest standards of any tourism conference I’ve been to anywhere, and was a resounding success for everyone,” he said. “The key now, is that everyone follows up on the contacts and networks they formed and keep working to the 2020 vision of doubling our visitor economy .”

Sapphire Coast Tourism chair Bruce Leaver said the summit was a huge success, not only because of the networking and learning opportunities it presented to participants but because it celebrated eight years of collaboration with important stakeholders like Tourism Australia. “The region is at last identifying itself as a whole,” he said. “Seeing operators aligning with each other, to see councils and shire staff all part of the same team – it’s gold. He said it was clear the alignment of the 55-year-old Sapphire Coast brand with nature tourism is being echoed right through the tourism industry, from our busy volunteer filled information centres to the biggest campaigns run by Tourism Australia. BVSC logo



The summit opened with a networking dinner where speakers were introduced to the sold out 150 person audience at Oakland’s Event Centre, Pambula. Day two saw 140 guests including stakeholders from Eurobodalla, Bombala, Victoria, Cooma and the Snowies take one of the great coastal drives in NSW to the Four Winds Festival site at Barragga Bay. The recently completed Windsong Pavillion showcased a world-class performance centre with the Soundshell Pavilion and amphitheatre a stunning backdrop.


MC  – Nigel Collin  – Reminder video



Speakers included;

Leigh Sorensen (Tourism Australia) Leigh shared the latest findings, identifying nature and coast as the number one driver of visitors to Australia and outlining TA’s latest campaign which takes local food and wine experiences to the world. “The big draw card, particularly for international visitors, is world class nature and beauty, coastal and aquatic experiences and food with our food and wine exceeding visitor expectations,” he said. “Ours, and yours, biggest strength is world class nature. We know that nature is in the top five considerations in selecting a destination, along with beauty, safety and security and value for money.” Leigh also identified a number of opportunities for local operators to connect with the 6 million plus Facebook fans.

Download a copy of Leigh’s presentation

Other links and information from Tourism Australia’s visit to the Sapphire Coast

Tourism Australia Ad ( There’s Nothing Like Australia )
Restaurant Australia Strategy and Tips Videos
Working with Tourism Australia ( The Aussie Specialist Program & others)
Social Media Story – Big Baz the Kangaroo 
Tourism Australia Restaurant Australia Ad.
You can subscribe to all of TA newsletters etc.
Corporate site  
Restaurant Australia
Aussie Specialist Program
Travel Club 
Planning for Inbound Success
Booking Widget

Sarah Budd (Carnival Australia) Sarah Budd from Carnival Australia was confident of marketing Eden as a single port destination when the break water wharf is completed. “The short cruise market, the two night getaway is the largest segment of the fast growing cruise market,” she said. “Being able to come alongside, and being so close to Sydney will make Eden a reliable port.”

Download a copy of Sarah’s presentation

Dinner Keynote Dana Ronan (Walks by Bothfeet) Dana talked about the realities of building BothFeet, her Great Ocean Road guided walks and the importance of collaboration when building new markets.

Download a copy of Dana’s presentation

Noel McCann (Canberra Airport) Noel McCann outlined Canberra Airport’s plans to introduce international connections with Singapore and New Zealand in the near future, providing more opportunities for regional travel and also freight. “Farmers will be able to harvest oysters in the morning and get them in the air that night,” he said. “Like the port of Eden, we’ve got the infrastructure ready to step up a gear, and reach new heights.”

Canberra Airport TF14 presentation

Jonathan Kobus (Visit Canberra) Jonathon shared the organisations strategic direction of including our local region’s position as part of the visit Canberra experience. “What we can do is become good neighbours, understand what each other does, how we do it and what our products are.”

Download Jonathon’s presentation 

Carolyn Childs (MyTravelResearch) Carolyn provided insight into the stunning growth low cost carriers can bring in visitation to regional areas and the seeming unstoppable growth of the Australian Cruise industry. “Aviation and cruise are proven to widen the benefits of tourism across regions and open up destinations,” she said. “But it’s also about connecting people and place to themselves, and each other to create something they want to share with family and friends.”

Download a copy of Carolyn’s trends in nature based tourism presentation

Download a copy of Carolyn’s aviation & tourism presentation

Download a copy of Carolyn’s cruise & tourism presentation

Workshop Component

DNSW Profitable Partnerships Workshop

Stephanie Summers (Destination NSW) and her team conducted an operator workshop to over 40 participants on Profitable Partnerships. Material and more can be found online here.

Cruise Workshop

Thanks to Tyler Wood (Bob Wood Cruise Group) and Sarah Budd (Carnival Australia) who conducted operator and industry workshops throughout the summit.


National Parks and Wildlife Services powerweights Danielle Millar and Charlotte McManus shared insights on their role in marrying conservation and tourism.

Bundian Way project manager Noel Whittem talked about the current projects for the ancient trail between the snowy and the coast.

Megan Cleary of NSW Trade and Investment Crown Lands outlined the path to completion of the Snug Cove wharf extension and safe harbour project. Download Breakwater Wharf Extension Eden Fact Sheet_issue 1  and Safe Boating Study Eden Fact Sheet.issue 1

SCT’s Bruce Leaver talked about the SCT focus on nature and heritage as key experiences and the need to look outside our own shire and state borders for partners.

Lucas Scarpin, group manager strategy and business services for Bega Valley Shire Council, explained the BVSC commitment to development of the Merimbula Regional Airport and it being the likely site for a state of the art Culture and Heritage Visitor Centre to showcase the best tourism experiences of the region.