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Penrith is markleting itself as the adventure capital. Penrith is markleting itself as the adventure capital. Featured
29 July 2016 Posted by 

WEST'S ADVENTURE CAPITAL RISES

Penrith plans tourism dominance

By Red Dwyer

THE so-called “Adventure Capital of NSW” plans to double its tourism numbers by 2025 and boost visitor spending by more than $500 million annually.

However, to cope with 2.6 million plus visitors the case has been made that more short-term accommodation is needed in Penrith.

While mid-range hotels currently meet an important need within the city, a council-commissioned study by the Stafford Group recommended supporting higher quality hotel and serviced apartment facilities.

“The introduction of new, quality accommodation can be useful for setting a higher quality benchmark and encourage others to improve the quality of accommodation provided” the study said.

The largest upmarket and highest ranking establishment in the city is the four-star Mercure Penrith which currently provides 223 rooms.

“The potential exists for Penrith to act as an upgrade short-term commercial accommodation hub for visits into the Blue Mountains and into the surrounding Hawkesbury area as well as for the Penrith LGA.”

The study found Penrith’s closeness to the Blue Mountains, the Nepean River catchment and Hawkesbury area, as well as the future Western Sydney Airport, makes Penrith a compelling location for an accommodation precinct which can support the region.

While Penrith is situated on the well-worn domestic and international visitor route to the Blue Mountains, and though it is currently perceived as more of a gateway to the Blue Mountains, potential exists to capture many of these travellers so more of them stop and stay in Penrith.

Council believes “adrenaline attractions” such as white-water rafting, outdoor and indoor skydiving and jetpak adventures, arts and heritage and river cruises will appeal to young and old alike

The total tourism and hospitality sales in Penrith was $324.7 million and the total value added was $174.8 million in 2014/15

The point of difference for Penrith is its positioning by Penrith Council as the “Adventure Capital of NSW” with industry and council working collectively to strengthen this.

“There are so many flow-on benefits with more jobs in skilled labour areas, more events and an added vibrancy to the city.” Penrith Mayor, Karen McKeown said.

Economic benefits include the ability to attract new skilled labour into new jobs to be created through the operations of a short-term commercial accommodation facility and ancillary development, such as a conference centre etc, the study said.

The direct and indirect employment in the tourism and hospitality industry was 2086 in 2014/15

The ability of short-term accommodation development to positively impact, not only on surrounding property values, but as a catalyst for further investment into various industry sector was another benefit.

As was the ability to support the viability of other major tourism attractions which will leverage off the ability to provide overnight accommodation and which can support greater levels of overall visitation to surrounding businesses.

 



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