Blue Mountains Accommodation & Tourism Association Corporate Website | What to Do - Where to Eat - Where to Stay Blue Mountains Accommodation & Tourism Association Corporate Website | What to Do - Where to Eat - Where to Stay

Article Index

Watch this NOTICEBOARD for up to date notices and briefings that the BMATA Executive will want to bring to the attention of the members.

If you are a member of BMATA and want to get something out to the rest of the industry, please contact us for inclusion here.

Inclusions will be at the sole prerogative of the Executive of the BMATA.

Contact us



Working with Tourism Australia

(June 2018)

Dominic Mehling presented Tourism Australia's strategy for tourism growth through to 2020 at the 31 May Celebration of Tourism function at the Fairmont.

Dominic's Presentation



Download the following document to find out how TA can help you expand your tourism business.

Included is information on:
  • Marketing resources
  • Promoting your product
  • Social media
  • Aussie Specialist Program
  • Business Events Australia
  • Industry events and webinars
  • Industry development and advice
And don't forget to look at the "Working with Tourism Australia Checklist" on the last page so you don't forget anything important.

New Visitor Information Centre in Katoomba

(June 2018)
BMATA is opening a long awated visitor information centre at the top end of Katoomba in the old Trolly Bus Shop opposite the railway station.
Six of our very supportive BMATA member businesses have backed the Association by taking the head lease allowing BMATA to operate the centre.  
The centre will also house our executive officer, Mike Sperling, and will be open in July. 



Conferencing in the Blue Mountains

(May 2018)
Check out the new DNSW video showcasing the Blue Mountans as the perfect area to hold a conference.
"The Blue Mountains is a no-brainer for a conference" according to Deborah Benjamin, the NSW Education manager for the Phamaceutical Society of Australia when talking about their 2018 conference.  Blue Mountains offers "fantastic opportunities" and "a great experience"
The Blue Mountains is not only a place to relax, network and enjoy the serenity, but the unique outdoor activities are awesome for team building, group cohesion and building communication and leadership skills.
Have you as a BMATA member tapped into the expanding Conference market in the Blue Mountains?
Listen to the experience of other BMATA members in this video, and make sure you are showcased in the Conference Section of the Visit Blue Mountains website.

DNSW Conference Video



VBM Conference Section



Blue Mountains Tourist Newspaper

(June 2018)

Blue Mountains Tourist Winter 2018 has been published & now distributed throughout the mountains, to VIC’s all around - throughout Sydney hotels, car rental companies, Central train station & all petrol stations/traveller stopping points along Great Western Highway & Bells Line of Road.
This ensures visitors on their way to the Blue Mountains, or those already staying, will see your restaurant, attraction, accommodation, tour, gallery or shop advertised in Blue Mountains Tourist.
  • 50,000 copies have been printed.
  • Approximately half have already been distributed. 
Important small changes were introduced in BMT Winter 2018.
  • The What’s On section was reworked. It's now eye catching, more engaging featuring music & other events.
  • There’s still a regular events & markets section.
  • Various town & drive maps were also extensively upgraded!
For the Spring 2018 edition we intend to feature the first ‘TRAIL’. This will be arts, galleries & collectables – stretching from Glenbrook to Little Hartley. BMT encourages travellers to stop & explore, whilst still ensuring they enjoy the well-known villages & icons. 
BMT Spring 2018 prospectus will be released the first week of July. BMATA members receive a special discount & a free event listing (subject to available space).
We’re attracting more readers to BMT with specific interests - delivering more visitors to our advertisers & increasing total visitor numbers to the mountains.
Business owners and residents are welcome to contact BMATA Executive Officer Michael Sperling for more information on 0425 780 020 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For all advertising queries, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



BMATA’s 2021 Vision Values and Strategy Development

(March 2018)
Be part of the future of BMATA!
To ensure the sustainability of BMATA for the tourism industry and its members, BMATA is embarking on a program to develop its vision, values and strategy for the next 3 years to align with the association's Policy Objectives.
Member contribution is essential to ensure the association is guided in how to best meet the needs of the tourism industry.
Coming to BMATA meetings is the best way to have your say in the future of BMATA.
About one quarter of our members participated in the Values & Vision Workshop at the March meeting.  Everyone presented their vision for BMATA and listed the key values of the organisation.  Collective themes were brought together by the Committee and the result was presented to members at the April meeting as a 'Plan on a Page'.
The first steps in implementing the Plan were publicly announced at the Celebration of Tourism function at the Fairmont on 31st May.
All members are asked to look at BMATA's plan for the future and to provide feedback.


BMATA 'Plan on a Page'



Vision Presentation



Glenbrook VIC closed for refurbishment

(March 2018)

The Glenbrook Visitor Information Centre has been closed for refurbishment from the end of February.  The new Centre, with improved parking facilities is scheduled to reopen in June 2018.
You can find out more information here.

Destination Ambassador Program

(February 2018)

The BMCC Visitor Information Centres team undertook a 6 week Destination Ambassador Program trial at Katoomba Station from 18th December 2017 – 28th January 2018. The innovative program provided visitor information services from 9:15am – 1:15pm most days, coinciding with the arrival times of the additional 8 carriage trains from Sydney.
The VIC team would like to encourage you to provide feedback on the effectiveness of the Destination Ambassador Program. Were you aware that they had undergone a trial to reduce the strain of visitor enquires in the businesses surrounding Katoomba Station, what suggestions could you offer to get greater value out of the Destination Ambassador Program? 
Please forward all of your feedback to our Business Development and Marketing Program Leader, Nicole Bartolo, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact them on 4723 5114.



New WHAT'S ON module

(January 2018)

WHAT’S ON is the section of all the BMATA websites that displays events in the Blue Mountains in the date order that they happen. 

A new release of WHAT’S ON provides a significantly better and much faster end-user experience.  It now has a new fresh look which is uniform across all devices, no matter what size the screen is.  The public can view all the events in an abbreviated Grid form, or in a List form with slightly more initial information shown. 

The module now has a range of search options and much more information about the event including links to its website, social media pages and direct booking button if it has one.  There are now directions and maps, and also costing information if provided.


More Information


Mike Sperling is our new Executive Officer

(November 2017)

The Management Committee has appointed Mike Sperling to the newly created role of Ececutive Officer for BMATA.  He will assist the Committee with administration and marketing activities and is charged with the task of raising the profile and reach of the BMATA within the greater tourism industry.

You can meet with Mike at out regular monthly meetings, and he will be talking directly to many of our members over the next few months. 


Michael (Mike) Sperling has worked in international & domestic tourism, specialising in operation & promotion in regional areas for over 30 years.  Starting with hotel school and food & beverage management in early/mid 1980’s.  Thru late 80’s with ID Tours & Thomas Cook travel agencies operating inbound tour groups.   Early 1990’s saw creation & growth of Mount ‘N Beach Safaris – a leading small group soft adventure/4WD tour company in Sydney operating to Blue Mtns, Hunter Valley & Port Stephens.  2000’s saw move to Bilpin in the mountains, establishment of Bilpin Country Lodge farmstay and sale of Mount ‘N Beach Safaris after 17 successful & busy years.  In 2017/2018 working as Executive Officer at BMATA to benefit members & grow Blue Mtns tourism industry. 



Inclusive Tourism Forum

(September 2017)







Here are the presentations from the Inclusive Tourism Forum that was held in Katoomba on 30 August 2017.


Short Term Holiday Letting Options Paper

NSW Planning Logo

(August 2017)

The NSW Government is calling on community and stakeholder feedback after the release of an Options Paper on short-term holiday letting.
The Options Paper is the next step in determining the most effective way for the NSW Government to respond to the growth of this industry, which includes Airbnb and Stayz.
The paper is now available for public feedback for a three-month consultation period until 31 October 2017, after which the NSW Government will consider submissions.
Blue Mountains City Council is one of only a few councils in NSW that regulates STHL through the planning system.
Click below for more information and to make a submission.

Update from Glenn Caldwell - GM DSSN


(August 2017)

Glen Caldwell, the newly appointed General Manager for Destination Sydney Surrounds North, came and addressed the BMATA August meeting at the Hydro Majestic.

Members can get details from the Minutes of the meeting in the "Member Areas".

As he said, he has sent through to the below links to key funding and DNSW documents of interest.  (click on the link or copy and paste the link into your browser).
Destination Networks:
The brochure:
Regional Tourism Funding:
Partner Opportunities prospectus:
General Resources:

Projects Completed last financial year


Following is a list of projects completed by the BMATA this past financial year.  Blue Mountains City Council assisted both financially and otherwise for which the Association is very grateful.
  • The revision and printing of the 2nd edition of the Greater Blue Mountains Drive (GBMD) map which is now being sold at the two Blue Mountains visitor centres, as well as by NPWS, Oberon visitor centre and by many BMATA members.
  • A new interactive digital representation of the GBMD Touring Guide which presents all the Discovery Trails in a format that can be downloaded onto smart phones and then accessed interactively even when the user is away from any telephone or wi-fi coverage.
  • A new Direct Booking platform on which accommodation providers place their individual booking buttons with last-minute enticement messages.  This web page allows the operator to take direct bookings without the large booking commissions extracted by Expedia, and the other third party booking engines.
  • Improvements to the “blue ribbon” tourism website for the Blue Mountains –  The association was able to expand the site with new content and make it more visible. We also integrated the new direct bookings platform as well as the GBMD Touring Guide and the Council’s Grand Clifftop Walks mobile app into the website.  This website, and its mobile counterpart, are now receiving upwards of ½ million visitors per year, up 100% from this time last year.
  • A new Tear-off Visitor Map to the Blue Mountains and its major tourist towns is being made freely available to visitors from accommodation reception desks and tour desks of all BMATA members across the mountains. These are provided in A3 size pads of 100 tear off maps - 50,000 maps in total - and are supported by the sale of advertising space so they will become self-funding through subsequent editions.
  • Revision and printing of the Blue Mountains International Tour Planner which was distributed at the recent Australian Tourism Exchange.  A high quality 24 page Planner was produced in booklet form, on branded USB, and is available for download from our members’ website
  • BMATA representatives attended the recent Australian Tourism Exchange held in Sydney 14-18 May 2017. The show was a success with very positive feedback not only from the stands we were directly involved with but talking across the other operators they were all stating how impressed they were with the quality and interest of the agents this year. 

A3 Map Pads are now available


BMATA Tear-off mapsThe BMATA has taken over the ownership of the A3 tear-off maps that were once distributed for many years by the Blue Mountains Attractions Group. There are 100 tear-off maps in each pad.  
Sixteen advertisements are  placed on the map and advertising places are available for BMATA members only.  If you wish to register your interest in participating in the next edition, please contact the Secretary.
The Maps are being distributed through BMATA Accommodation reception desks and Tour desks, and at the regular BMATA monthly meetings.
If you are a member, particularly an accommodation member, and need stocks please contact the Secretary to find out where you can pick them up from.

More on A3 maps



Soap Aid


Soap Aid is a not-for-profit organisation founded in Australia.

It was founded to save and improve the lives of children in disadvantaged communities through the facilitation of improved hygiene practices around the use of soap and to contribute to a reduction in environmental degradation through soap recycling.

They collect partially used and discarded soap from hotels in Australia and New Zealand sending them to a central processing plant, where they re-process the soaps and turn them into new, useful bars of soap that will help save lives.

They have identified target communities with the highest rates of childhood mortality from lack of adequate sanitation to which they can ensure ‘safe passage’ of Soap Aid soap and education materials.

Soap aid is being supported by Rotary in the Blue Mountains.  If you would like to participate then please contact Lucian Keegel  on 0415 232 901 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Have a look at their website


On-line Newsletter Subscription

(November 2016)

The Blue Mountains Accommodation and Tourism Association has moved our mailing list to a new service to address mailing list issues with MailChimp (our previous email service). Because of email spam controls, some members were unable to receive emails sent from MailChimp.
You can now subscribe on-line to receive our regular Newsletters by email.  Simply go to the Newsletter page by clicking the button below and enter your email details from there.

Should you not wish to receive our notices and newsletters, just Unsubscribe on one of the emails you receive or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will remove your email address from our mailing list.







Greater Blue Mountains Drive App and Map

(November 2016)

The new GBMD touring maps are finished and are being distributed to Visitor Information Centres that might feed visitors into the drive.  Members and VICs can order maps for sale to their customers by following the button at the bottom of this page.

The map is supported by our new smartphone touring guide that complements the touring map and contains individual maps and information about the many Discovery Trails in each NPWS Sector of the drive, and much more.  The smartphone guide can be found (only on your mobile phone) at, and at the revamped as well.


More on GBMD



Western Sydney Airport - Community Update

The Austrailan Government is committed to the Western Sydney Airport being built.

Keep abreast of what is happening through the community updates provided regularly by the Australian Government.  

Follow this link to read the latest Community Update.


Airport Community Updates (link)




You can discover what Western Sydney Airport could look like by watching the Western Sydney Airport 3D animation video in the Western Sydney Airport Portal.


Airport Animation Video



You can also read more about the next steps for the project in the brochure:   An airport for Western Sydney: Building Western Sydney's future.


Download Brochure (pdf)



New Tourism Networks

(July 2016)

The Regional Tourism Organisation Review has finally concluded and Stuart Ayres, Minister for Tourism (and others), anounced the results on 6th July.

In summary the changes that were announced are:

  • The existing 11 RTOs are to be replaced by 6 Destination Networks to be established as Companies
  • Guaranteed operational funding for 4 years for the Destination Networks
  • Redesigned Regional Visitor Economy Fund application process
  • Increased $3.5 million (over 4 years) funding for the Regional Visitor Economy Contestable Fund
  • Additional $1 million each year for the Regional Flagship Events Program
  • Commissioning of a new state-wide Destination Management Plan
  • Creation of a new DNSW Regional Division, including a Regional Conferencing Unit.

The Blue Mountains (along with Hawkesbury and Penrith) have been included in the "Sydney Surrounds North"  Network.  This Regional Network also also includes the Hunter and Upper Hunter, Central Coast, Newcastle and Port Stevens. 

Our DNSW representative, Mr Jason Sacriz, attended our August meeting to hear our concerns and to answer questions.  Find out what he had to say in the meeting minutes - in the Members Area.

DNSW has called for applicants to fill the positions of the 5 Directors for each of the 6 Destination Networks.  We will keep you informed as new information becomes available.

For more information, download the following documents

S. Chipchase letter



S. Ayres letter



DNSW Media Release



Destination Networks (pdf)



Director's Information Pack (pdf)




India Tourism Market perspective from Tourism Australia

(May 2016)

Tourism Australia sent their 'India Sector' Business Development Manager to the Blue Mountains on Monday, April 26th, to meet with BMATA and individual Blue Mountains tourism representatives.  Tourism Australia Representative, Samar Chokshi, covered:

  • The India market – the opportunity, distribution, key trade partners, campaign activity, working with the market
  • Insights, Trends, Facts & Figures (including arrivals/spend
  • Consumer behaviour – planning/booking/travel season
  • The Indian Visitor – needs and wants, becoming ‘India-ready

Sama's Presentation Document



Inbound Tour Operators Contact List



The following material was also presented for the benefit of BMATA members.


India Market Research & Insights

You can find some useful information on the India market on Tourism Australia's corporate website.

Australian Stories - Global PR Newsletter

  • Australian Stories is our new product/events/destination newsletter that has a focus on new news.
  • Our Global PR team would love to hear your stories – you should send through some press releases/stories about the refurb and those events that you mentioned (particularly highlight the award you won).
  • Send them through to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the chance to be featured.  
  • This is sent out to 4,000 PR/media/journalist contacts around the world, and is a great way to spread the word about your experiences.


Aussie Specialist Program

  • The Aussie Specialist Program is our online training platform that we use to train travel agents in over 110 countries.
  • We’ve recently relaunched the program across all of our key markets.
  • There are two main ways that you can engage with the 30,000-strong network of Aussie Specialists.
  • The Travel Club is where you can encourage fully-qualified Aussie Specialists to experience your product during their personal trips to Australia by offering an industry rate. This is a great way to showcase your product. I have attached a form for you to complete if you are keen to be part of this.
  • You can also submit a product update video – a 2/3min video that can be used to update travel agents on your product. It can be a simple video filmed on a smart phone.
  • You can find out more about the program here.


Social Media

  • Our social media platforms are very well followed – we have nearly 7m Facebook fans and 2m Instagram followers.
  • Check out the Tips & Tricks page that our team created to help industry leverage the Aquatic & Coastal campaign as well as how to generally get involved.
  • A reminder to keep using #seeaustralia (and #restaurantaustralia) to have the opportunity to be featured in the Australia social channels.
  • Don’t forget that you can also upload photos directly to our Facebook page –


Understanding the Consumer – consumer research findings

  • You will find the results of our Consumer Demand Project research in some very easy to read fact sheets contained within our corporate website.



  • You can sign up to TA’s newsletters keep in touch with all that is happening at Tourism Australia, both onshore and offshore.
  • Subscribe to the various publications, including our main weekly newsletter Essentials.


Working with Tourism Australia

  • This document outlines the many opportunities available to work with us more closely as well as outlining our strategic direction.

Blue Mountains Tourism Industry Profile

(October 2015)

Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise works closely with the Blue Mountains tourism industry. BMEE recently launched a tourism industry profile which highlights how important this sector is to the local economy:
•The second greatest employer in the Blue Mountains
•Approx 12.9% of local jobs attributable to the Tourism sector
•Over 2000 local jobs
•$105m in wages and salaries
•Tourism industries contribute $195m to Gross Regional Product
•$420m in output

Blue Mountains Economic Output


You can download the Blue Mountains Tourism Industry Profile here.

Tourism Industry Profile (PDF)






The Executive would like to welcome the following new members to the Association.


We invite existing members to visit their listings on this website.