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Speech at the launch of the Grand Pacific Drive, Clifton.

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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

LAUNCH OF THE GRAND PACIFIC DRIVE Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for welcoming me to Clifton.

It is a great pleasure to be here today to launch the Grand Pacific Drive - Sydney to Wollongong and Beyond.

Let me open by saying that I drove here this morning from Sydney and it truly is a beautiful drive and a

wonderful region.

This region is flourishing, as its historical mining and resource sectors are complemented by growing and

vibrant education and tourism industries.

The 140 km drive I am launching today, provides a scenic route through some of the state's most spectacular

scenery: the Royal National Park, Kiama, Shoalhaven, Wollongong and Shellharbour, and provides links to

the Southern Highlands and Canberra.

This project brought together a number of stakeholders including the Project Management Committee and

South Coast Regional Tourism Organisation under the leadership of Tourism Wollongong along with local tourism associations:

Ñ Tourism Wollongong

Ñ Tourism Shellharbour

Ñ Tourism Kiama

Ñ Tourism Shoalhaven

Ñ Tourism Southern Highlands

Ñ Australian Capital Tourism, and

Ñ Wollongong City Council

They came together as they saw the value and benefits of the project. I would like to congratulate their collaborative effort and the outcome is a testament to their hard work.

The impressive sign that you see behind me here today is one of 170 directional signs and 12 interpretive

signs, installed to increase the awareness of the scenic coastal drive for local and international visitors.

These signs are displayed to promote the attractions this region possesses.

The region boasts an array of things to do and see including the Royal National Park, Nan Tien Temple, Five

RET Minister > The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

19 Aug 2008

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Islands Brewing Company, Jamberoo Action Park, Fitzroy Falls and the uniquely Australian, Bradman


They are sure to appeal to travellers of all ages.

The Grand Pacific Drive themed directional signage has been deemed so successful by the Tourist Attraction

Signposting Assessment Committee, that they are now using it as a demonstration project for future themed

tourist routes throughout New South Wales.

The installation of these signs is just one of the new initiatives resulting from a $499,700 Australian Tourism

Development Program grant.

The signs make up one part of the marketing mix with funding also going towards developing brochures and

maps, print and television advertising, and web development for the technologically-savvy tourist.

The Grand Pacific Drive integrated marketing campaign is part of a long-term economic strategy initially

conceived by Tourism Wollongong to increase visitation to the New South Wales South Coast.

The most notable outcome has been the record growth in accommodation revenue and day visitation.

Wollongong Accommodation Revenue increased by 20.1 per cent during calendar year 2007.

Other remarkable achievements include Illawarra's increase in domestic overnight visitors, which was up by 4

per cent on the year during this same period, with a value of $121 million.

There was also an increase in the number of day visitors - with statistics showing a rise of 4.3 per cent to 3.3

million people valued at $283 million.

The international market is also strong with Illawarra receiving 57,100 international overnight visitors - this

number increased by 31.6 per cent.

The Australian Tourism Development Program - and other Government initiatives such as the Long Term

Tourism Strategy currently being developed - will facilitate further growth.

The Illawarra is now in an exciting position to continue the marketing and promotion of the region as a major

touring route to rival others throughout Australia and the world.

I congratulate everyone involved on their hard work and co-operation, and wish you all the best.

Thank you.

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