What is a Destination Management Plan?

    A destination management plan is plan for pro-active management of a destination over a period of time. It supports collaboration between government, industry and community to articulate a shared vision for a destination to drive action to protect its environment, community and cultural values.  

    A Destination Management Plan considers the challenges and opportunities specific to the destination and seeks to identify strategic priorities, including the tourism product and infrastructure required to support sustainable visitation.

    Why do we need a Destination Management Plan?

    A vibrant, resilient visitor economy offers significant benefits for our region and community. And it is essential that we plan for and manage growth in a holistic way that minimises any negative impacts of visitation and ensures that the Blue Mountains continues to be a great place to live, work and visit long into the future.

    To do this successfully we need a solid framework and plan of action to guide us in making and implementing decisions.

    How does destination stewardship differ from destination management?

    Destination stewardship applies a regenerative lens to destination management, maintaining and enhancing a destination’s unique attributes.  

    It takes a multi-stakeholder approach, inviting participation beyond the silo of tourism. 

    Destination stewardship for the Blue Mountains encompasses: 

    • place management: caring for the natural and built environment. 
    • industry partnerships: enabling effective stewardship.
    • market management: deeply connecting values-aligned visitors with the Blue Mountains.
    • visitor experience: optimising the visitor experience. 
    • community benefit: community as a direct beneficiary of the visitor economy through industry participation, liveability, creative communities and standards of living. 

    A Destination Management Plan within a stewardship model is intended to be a living document that can be updated and adapt to changes in the operating environment.

    How has this draft Destination Management Plan been developed and who was involved?

    TRC Tourism was contracted to conduct extensive stakeholder consultation and prepare an initial draft of the Destination Management Plan.  

    Stakeholder consultation took place between July and December 2023, comprising: 

    • online surveys 
    • collaborative workshops 
    • face to face interviews 
    • focus groups

    Participants and stakeholders included representatives from Blue Mountains City Council, First Nations including Dharug and Gundungurra Traditional Owners, National Parks & Wildlife Service Blue Mountains Branch, Blue Mountains Tourism, Outdoors NSW & ACT, Destination NSW, NSW Tourism Industry Council, BM Planetary Health Institute, First Nations, community organisations, business operators, individuals and local State and Federal Members of Parliament.   

    A project working group comprising representatives from cornerstone partners worked to identify and articulate nine strategic priority projects – the ‘action plan’ element of the DMP.