Bushfires and drought stimulate Tourism Recovery Plan

Bushfires and drought have had a devastating impact on NSW’s visitor economy.

Now it time to show the world that most of NSW’s spectacular natural wonders and visitor experiences are still in great shape, and are ready to welcome back visitors, now.

The NSW Government and its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW today launched a multi-faceted recovery program to help rejuvenate the state’s visitor economy, to fund innovative new local events and assist tourism businesses to develop, promote and sell their products.


The first phase of the plan is a new community-driven campaign – Now’s The Time To Love NSW – which urges the people of NSW to take a break that gives back, and to saturate social media with photos of videos of their favourite holiday spots statewide.

It’s inspired by the outpouring of public support for communities affected by drought and bushfires and responds to calls from our tourism industry to reassure travellers that our towns, villages and cities are open for business and have the welcome mat out.

Now’s The Time To Love NSW kicked off on Saturday with a double-page spread in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph a dedicated landing page on and activity across social media. Other complementary activities will roll out in the coming weeks.


Tourism operators and other business owners can get involved in the campaign by showing the world what’s to love about their town or city, experience or attraction by following these steps:

1: Make your hands into a heart shape.

2: Take a photo with your ‘heart’ in a NSW location.

3: Share the photo on your social media with the hashtag #LoveNSW

We also recommend that that local tourism organisations, industry associations and individual tourism businesses encourage visitors or guests to get involved and help share the love and show the love for NSW.

An industry factsheet is available at with more information about how to get involved.


Destination NSW has been actively supporting the tourism industry in recent weeks through ongoing social media, marketing, partnership and publicity programs.

This activity centres around the concept of a #RecoveryWeekend – a practical way for people to show their support for bushfire or drought affected communities by booking a holiday in Sydney or regional NSW.

By staying ‘local’ and spending ‘local’, holidaymakers, day-trippers and those visiting family and friends can feel good and do good at the same time.

#RecoveryWeekend activity includes:

Partnership campaigns with Qantas Airways, Accor, Webjet, TripAdvisor, Flight Centre and Tigerair that launched in market this week driving consumers to book a #RecoveryWeekend in NSW. Check out the deals on;

Coverage on morning TV program, Studio 10, that was secured by Destination NSW and included live crosses to Huskisson/Jervis Bay, Southern Highlands, Thredbo, Tumbarumba, Canowindra and Cowra;

An upcoming week of coverage on TODAY Show with weather crosses from Port Macquarie, Hunter Valley, Blackheath, Ulladulla and Merimbula. Additionally TODAY Show and TODAY Extra will broadcast their entire shows live from Bateman’s Bay on Friday 14 February;

Active pitching to domestic and international media resulting in 445 items of media coverage encouraging travel to NSW; and

Close to 100 posts across consumer and corporate social media channels featuring #RecoveryWeekend.


Research shows that the recovery of communities following significant disasters may take years.

This is why the NSW Government, through Destination NSW, has developed a comprehensive multi-staged plan that has been informed by consultation with the tourism industry, industry associations and the six Destination Networks.

In addition to the launch of the Now’s The Time To Love NSW campaign, the first phase of the program includes:

$1 million regional events program to support existing flagship events and a new stream to support ‘micro events’;

Joint marketing campaigns with major industry partners to build on the #RecoveryWeekend activity currently in market;

Extensive social media and marketing activity showcasing the entire state;

Targeted publicity and hosted media programs for domestic and international markets;

Capability building programs including upskilling for tourism operators; and

Further information about co-operative marketing programs, regional event funding and tourism business development programs will be available in the coming weeks.

For updates check the Destination NSW website and follow Destination NSW on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook.

Media Release: February 10, 2020