Tourism Research and Insights

North Coast NSW Convention Centre Feasibility Study

Destination North Coast is excited to unveil groundbreaking findings from its recent report, emphasising the transformative impact a new Convention and Exhibition Centre could have on the region. The development of such a facility would fill a current market gap with no existing dedicated Business Event infrastructure of this scale between the Gold Coast and Newcastle.

Business Events are a highly lucrative component of the visitor economy. Domestic overnight conference visitors to NSW spent on average $517 per night, which was 132.9 per cent higher than domestic leisure visitors spend (Tourism Research Australia, YE Sep 2023). The high level of spend of Business Event delegates delivers significant economic impacts for North Coast destinations with limited friction with the local community due to the nature and timing of visitation. As a result, growing the Business Events sector for the North Coast is vital for the industries future prosperity.

The report includes a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis (CBA), revealing how such a facility could position the North Coast as a national player whilst delivering significant economic impact. In addition, the report conducted a review of all potential locations within the region that led to the identification of four leading options in Coffs Harbour (public and private), Ballina and Port Macquarie. The analysis demonstrated a strong return on investment and ongoing economic impact for all four options.

Key Insights from the Report:

National Leadership Potential: The report outlines how the introduction of a state-of-the-art conference and exhibition facility in the North Coast of NSW could catapult it into a position of national prominence. The proposed facility with a capacity targeted for up to 1,200 delegates would enable the region to compete for events that would previously have been unattainable.

Economic & Qualitive Benefits: The two locations that were deemed to deliver the highest returns were both in Coffs Harbour – Pacific Bay Resort and a CBD location, due to the robust supply of accommodation and longer trip lengths associated with the destination. Additionally, Ballina and Port Macquarie are identified as compelling options, each producing very positive economic impacts for their respective destinations and wider region. The estimated economic impacts range from $222-284 million, marking a substantial boost to the local economy.

The report also calculated the qualitative and non-monetary benefits of the proposed facility, including knowledge transfer, community use, enhanced urban renewal, sustainable development, repeat tourism, and the immediate vicinity of complementary uses. Pacific Bay Resort emerges as a standout option, scoring highest in relation to existing regional event markets and privatisation of costs.

Job Creation: The estimated economic impacts are not only limited to revenue but extend to job creation. The report indicates that the facility would create up to 146 jobs during construction and an additional 272 jobs when operational, further contributing to the region’s economic vitality.

Download the report here

North Coast Commercial Accommodation Prospectus

The North Coast of NSW is one of the most sort after and visited regions in Australia. Interest in and demand for holidays on the North Coast continues to grow at an exponential rate providing great investment opportunities for our region.

The North Coast Commercial Accommodation Prospectus provides an overview of the investment-ready opportunities available in the North Coast region of NSW and supports the proactive management of sustainable growth which Councils, industry and Destination North Coast are keen to promote for our visitor economy.

Find out more

North Coast Accommodation Reinvestment Guide

In addition, the North Coast Accommodation Reinvestment Guide focuses on expanding and growing the quality of the North Coast’s accommodation offering to support our high-quality natural environment and tourism attraction base. The guide provides tools to help determine the viability of investment into new and existing tourism businesses and to help plan the development of new and extended opportunities.

Find our more and review the Reinvestment Guide

Future Demand and Accommodation Research

Destination North Coast commissioned two research studies aimed at reviewing anticipated future visitation, the regions capacity to accommodate the demand and a robust review of current stock and guidance on how to secure investment for tourism accommodation.

Project 1 – A Tourism Research Report, the purpose of which is to undertake detailed visitor data analysis (including current and projected visitation levels) as well as undertaking a product audit, gap analysis and evaluating the regions current ability to accommodate the predicted demand.

Project 2 – An Accommodation Reinvestment Report, which includes researching best practice accommodation reinvestment, investigating accommodation investment opportunities and ultimately the compilation of an investment prospectus for the region.

Find more information and download Project Reports

NSW Tourism Facts & Figures

Tourism Forecast Report

Local Government Area Profiles

Tourism Industry Fact Sheet

Tourism Research Australia

North Coast Regional Visitor Stats