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POTENTIAL OF MEDICAL TOURISM Featured
16 September 2018 Posted by 

POTENTIAL OF MEDICAL TOURISM

Health, education attractions identified
RED DWYER
THREE major medical precincts have the potential to develop a medical-related tourism component in Western Sydney’s overnight visitor economy which contributes $4.2B to the NSW coffers.


Over the last five years, the Western Sydney visitor economy has experienced strong growth – the region welcomed 12.4 million visitors in 2016.
 
Overnight visitation has grown by 59 per cent in this period and nights spent has increased by 85 per cent.
 
Domestic overnight visitors accounted for an expenditure of $1.4M and international visitors $1.8M (day trippers spent $923,000), in 2018
 
The Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek by 2026 will be a game changer for the visitor economy, according to the Destination NSW Western Sydney Visitor Economy, 2017/2018-2020/2021 report.
 
It is into this environment that the health and education precincts at Westmead, Liverpool and Penrith, and their ongoing development, have the potential to be significant demand drivers in terms of the visitor economy.
 
The report notes the three medical precincts present a range of opportunities in terms of health education students, study tours, sports medicine, business events and medical tourism.
 
The report recommends a specific strategy be developed to maximise these opportunities and boost the regional economy.
 
The report states that driving continued growth in the Western Sydney visitor economy will be key in meeting the NSW government’s goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure by 2020.
 
At present, Destination NSW spends approximately $38M annually on event acquisition and retention, marketing, public relations, content development and travel packaging for Western Sydney.
 
“This funding must be retained, at a minimum, to continue the achievement of the current high level of performance,” it says.
 
“However, a number of key challenges need to be overcome in order to grow Western Sydney’s visitor economy.
 
“A cohesive approach to destination management is needed, with all stakeholders working together as opposed to the current fragmentation and a long-term destination management plan is required.”
 
The report sees Western Sydney is a “drive through” destination between the Sydney CBD and the Blue Mountains and the tourism attractions in Western Sydney are widespread and not well linked
 
The report was based on a preliminary report, “Towards a Western Sydney Visitor Economy and Events Strategy”, prepared by Deloitte in September 2016, with findings in hat report incorporated as part of the Western Sydney Visitor Economy Strategy.

 



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