The NSW Government is calling on all NSW residents to be a COVID safe tourist in their own backyard and support local businesses by booking tours and visiting attractions.
Member for Wollondilly Nathaniel Smith said the Southern Highlands looked forward to welcoming visitors for a COVID safe holiday, and encouraged travellers to show their support for businesses in the area.
"With school holidays coming up and weather improving, the Southern Highlands invites holidaymakers to visit and enjoy our local highlights, attractions and hospitality in a COVID safe way," Nathaniel smith said.
"Every hotel stay, every meal, every interaction with a local business makes a difference - our community is incredibly grateful to every person who visits and shows support."
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said NSW residents could help reboot the state's visitor economy by hitting the road for a short-break, taking a Sydney 'playcation', or even making the most of a day trip.
"There's something special about being a tourist and giving yourself permission to enjoy those experiences that we usually reserve for holidays," Minister Ayres said.
"Treat yourself to a 'playcation' around Sydney and NSW - take a guided tour, book a hotel stay, dine at a special restaurant, or visit a local attraction.
"We all want to make a difference by staying and spending locally, so let's enjoy all corners of NSW and jam-pack our itineraries with NSW's finest experiences.
"You'll be rewarded with the diversity and beauty of our state and make a huge difference to our tourism businesses that are doing it tough."
The NSW Government has released two new tools to inspire holidaymakers and help them 'value-add' to their stay:
An interactive 'Love NSW' map that allows travellers to search for and identify tourism experiences based on theme. Users can also find experiences within three hours' drive of a selected location, or zoom in to street level to see links to even more tourism businesses (www.lovensw.com.au)
A series of new Sydney 'playcation' itineraries highlighting the luxury, family, outdoor adventure, foodie, culture, romance and wellness experiences on offer across the CBD and Greater Sydney (www.sydney.com)
Trends in holiday planning show that the top three types of holiday Australians will take in the next 12 months are a road trip (68 percent), a trip to visit friends and family (66 percent) and a trip to the countryside (65 percent).
"Recent research shows that, compared to pre-COVID, travellers are 76 percent more likely to support local businesses and communities, and 68 percent more likely to visit parts of Australia they haven't been to before," Mr Ayres said.
"We've all had our lives on hold for six months or more, now's the time to get out there, enjoy our NSW stories, landscapes and experiences and turn 2020 around together.
"Now's the time to support our local tourism operators but it's not a time to be complacent."
Visitors, locals and businesses are reminded to stay COVID safe during the school holidays by maintaining social distancing, good hygiene and staying home if unwell. Holidaymakers are encouraged to phone ahead to confirm bookings and check local conditions with business operators.
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