Three Sisters success
The Blue Mountains City Council area attracts more than four million visitors a year, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia.
Tourism generates over $300million per year for the region, with much of the success linked to the majestic World Heritage Area listed landscape and creative industries offering arts and cultural experiences.
Recently, the Blue Mountains City Council’s Echo Point Visitor Information Centre, located at the famous Three Sisters, was rated by Destination NSW as the highest performing Visitor Information Centre in New South Wales for 2014–15.
Of the estimated 1.5–2 million visitors to the Echo Point precinct, 530,000 visitors dropped in to the Visitor Information Centre.
Located at Echo Point, Katoomba, the prime Blue Mountains visitor destination, visitors receive personalised information to ensure they have the best possible visitor experience.
Mayor, Councillor Mark Greenhill, said, “I applaud the Echo Point Visitor Information Centre staff for this outstanding result.
“The friendly staff offer excellent customer service to over half a million visitors from all corners of the globe. Visitors certainly appreciate the wide range of maps, merchandise, bushwalking and accommodation information, as well as the free loan of personal locator beacons for safer trekking.”
In addition to the popular Echo Point and Glenbrook Visitor Information Centres, Council provides extensive support to local tourism through nature-based recreation experiences including lookouts, walking tracks and the new Great Blue Mountains Trail; urban and cultural experiences such as the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, Blue Mountains Theatre, the Gully Walk, Mt York Heritage Precinct and Katoomba Street Art Walk; and improving tourism infrastructure including the Blackheath and Katoomba Tourist Parks, and advocating for directional and pedestrian wayfinding signage to town centres.
While the tourism industry has a high profile in the Blue Mountains economy, Council took the initiative to further support the local economy by establishing the Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise (BMEE).
Established in 2012, BMEE is an economic development entity that aims to promote and deliver economic development for the City.
“The BMEE model, developed in consultation with small business, is working as intended to be the peak regional economic development agency in the Blue Mountains”, said the Mayor. “In a short period of time BMEE has demonstrated its ability to stimulate economic activity, diversify the regional economy, strengthen the employment base and continue to seek investors and opportunities to the region.”
Council has recently made a new commitment to support the Blue Mountains Regional Business Chamber and to develop an economic strategy for the City to encourage further economic growth and development. Council continues its financial support of the Blue Mountains Business Awards and Blue Mountains Business Expo in 2015 and 2016 as a sponsor.
In 2014 the Council joined the Small Business Friendly Councils Program in recognition of the importance of the local small business sector as a vital contributor to the community and economy.