Tourism signage consultancy Wayfound has been commissioned by Destination Southern NSW (DSNSW) to develop the Southern Tablelands Signage Strategy, a whole of destination integrated tourism wayfinding and signage strategy for the five local government areas that make up the Southern Tablelands.
The objective of the project is to assist in the growth of the region’s visitor economy by developing a Signage Strategy that guides the creation of new and distinctive signage to encourage visitor dispersal and increased length of stay by promoting the diversity of experiences available across the region. The development process will ensure that current and future signage facilitates safe and positive journeys for visitors and promotes a connection with the people and the places of Southern Tablelands.
The Southern Tablelands Signage Strategy will:
- Be a whole of region integrated tourism wayfinding and signage strategy.
- Improve how visitors are made aware of the diverse experiences, attractions and services on offer across the Southern Tablelands.
- Ensure current and future signage facilitates safe and enjoyable journeys for visitors.
- Provide local Councils with a framework to make decisions on the location and style of all future signage.
Benefits of good visitor signage include:
- Improved visitor access.
- Improved visitor awareness of attractions, services, facilities.
- Increased growth in the area’s tourism appeal.
- Showcase the Southern Tablelands tourism brand.
- Increased support of existing attractions and businesses.
The development of the strategy will include:
- Review DSNSW tourism plans & policies
- Reviewed Transport for NSW & national tourism signage guidelines
- Site visits & stakeholder consultation
- Review signage audit data
- Develop 1st draft of signage strategy
- Further consultation
- Finalise signage strategy – sign design, priorities & implementation
Southern Tablelands Region
The Southern Tablelands, which covers an area of nearly 27,000km2 and a combined population nearly a 140,000, is made up of five LGAs: Hilltops Council, Upper Lachlan Council, Yass Valley Council, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council and Goulburn Mulwaree Council. The Southern Tablelands region is located to the northern and eastern boarder of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
Council Area Population:
Hilltops Council 7,139km2 18,800+
Upper Lachlan Shire Council 7,102km2 8,500+
Yass Valley Council 3,999km2 17,000+
Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council 5,319km2 63,300+
Goulburn-Mulwaree Council 3,220km2 32,000+ 26,779km2 139,600+
The regional approach to signage has been very ad-hoc over the years with no overall planning to the design and placement of signage in any of the LGA’s or across the whole region. Signage has been deployed on an individual basis which has resulted in a mix of different sign types, sizes and placement. The overall effect is a multitude of different signs competing for the visitors attention. The region now wishes to develop a strategy that will provide guidelines for all future signage planning and application.
Tourism signage is an extremely important element of any destination’s branding, marketing and visitor information strategies. Signage is critically important to presenting a consistent tourism experience and retaining and dispersing visitors throughout the Southern Tablelands. Signage also provides opportunities to raise awareness of the area’s attractions and features and encourage people to stop and visit. Wayfinding is about finding one’s way and relates to how a person orientates themselves and navigates through an area or place.
The existing tourism related signage in the Southern Tablelands does not enhance the visitor experience or adequately direct visitors to the area’s many attractions. Council and tourism organisations along with business operators have requested that a regional strategy be developed to address this, with some of their concerns being:
- Lack of wayfinding and tourism signage to let visitors know the attractions, services and facilities available within the Southern Tablelands and it’s towns and villages.
- Lack of unique and distinctive signage and imagery that showcases Southern Tableland’s tourism experiences and entices visitors to stop, explore and stay longer.
The Strategy is limited to addressing the wayfinding and tourism-related signage needed for visitors who are travelling in vehicles to find their way safely and efficiently to the tourism destinations and attractions within Southern Tablelands. It does not pertain to pedestrian wayfinding, signage once at the destination/attraction, private/commercial signs, business identification signs, town/village signs (other than entry signs), or public facilities signs.
A number of community and stakeholder consultation sessions are being planned across the region. Once the details have been finalised, they will be hosted on the DSNSW Events & Workshops page.
In addition to consultation sessions, a questionnaire is available to capture stakeholder feedback to inform the development of the Strategy. Please click here to leave your feedback.
The Strategy forms part of a suite of initiatives by Destination Southern NSW to encourage visitors to stop, extend their length of stay and increase expenditure in the region.
Image Credit: Southern Tablelands 2022 Driving Trail 2 @ Destination NSW