Tourism body Inland NSW collapses into voluntary administration, leaving local small businesses ”gobsmacked”

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A New South Wales tourism body has collapsed into voluntary administration, leaving many small businesses questioning whether they will continue to receive valuable marketing help and, in turn, money from visitors.

Inland NSW Regional Tourism Organisation Incorporated appointed external managers on March 31.

Bradd Morelli and Andrew Spring from Jirsch Sutherland have been appointed joint voluntary administrators.

According to the group’s annual report, Inland NSW received $2.26 million in income during 2015.

The tourism body spent a total of $2.24 million during the same period, leaving a small surplus of $122,835.

Inland NSW told its members on Friday it had decided to call in administrators because it was not able to secure enough funding, according to the ABC.

News of the group’s voluntary administration has shocked small business owners in NSW, with many nervous about what the developments mean for their business.

Steve Sliwka, a pub-owner from Broken Hill, told the ABC he was “shocked” to learn of the collapse given he paid money to the tourism body about two weeks ago.

“There was no communication that anything was going bad, or any type of that stuff,” Sliwka said.

“I’m just as gobsmacked as anyone else I suppose.”

However, a spokesperson for NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres told SmartCompany the state government remains committed to growing tourism in regional areas, with Inland NSW remaining a “key part” of that approach.

“The NSW Government remains committed to promoting Inland NSW as a visitor destination and will ensure our tourism agency Destination NSW continues to work with local operators to ensure the ongoing growth of the region,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“Over the coming months, they will work with local operators and stakeholders to support the region through publicity, marketing, media and trade famils and events.

“In the transition phase, Destination NSW will also meet with the appointed administrator and will determine ongoing arrangements to ensure continued promotion of the region.”

SmartCompany contacted Jirsch Sutherland and Inland NSW for comment but did not receive a response prior to publication.

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Chris Bourke
Chris Bourke
4 years ago

After looking at their website, it’s not surprising. Poor design, no call to action, very little income streams, no recent updates. Looks like a simple case of poor management.

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith
4 years ago

Not sure if there is any correlation let alone direct causal link between actitivities of most state and local tourism bodies and outcomes e.g. onshore/offshore awareness/interest development, more targetted tourists and local income?

As the other commenter suggests, and as Kim Williams former head of Newscorp has said, signifciant road block in Oz is lack of digital literacy amongst management classes in Oz, and how to leverage organically for the benefit of local communities versus management.

Further, the same commissioners seem to think marketing is an excuse for them to promote themselves at an offshore event for 1-2 days, versus all year round visibility for a fraction of the cost.

The Australian Tourism Data Warehouse has had an excellent eMarketing kit http://www.atdw.com.au/tourismekit explaining how operators, small business etc. in tourism, travel (for whom it is free) and related can leverage digital, but one assumes most of the take up was from offshore…… This is complicated further by, and related to, the attitude of commissioners and politicians in Oz who do not see an issue with slow internet speeeds (Melbourne CBD now has free wifi, one thinks due to so many complaints from international tourists…..)