Case Study: Bangalay Luxury Villas

Bangalay Luxury Villas General Manager Michelle Bishop discusses why the business joined the NSW First Program.

Bangalay Luxury Villas is situated near Seven Mile Beach, two hours’ drive south of Sydney. The 16 one- and two-bedroom villas are a short walk to the beach and have sweeping views down the Shoalhaven Heads golf course to the mountain range.

With great attention to sustainable design — including a Tesla charging station — the property has an earthy, coastal feel, yet is unquestionably luxurious.

Visitors can spend the day exploring the stunning NSW South Coast, take a dip in the pool, then dine on site at Bangalay Dining, with a menu that showcases the local produce of oysters, flathead, beef, native herbs and florals.

Quick facts

Product type: Accommodation & restaurant

Focus: Food & Wine, Luxury

Location: Shoalhaven Heads, Shoalhaven

Destination Network: Destination Sydney Surrounds South

NSW First spoke to Bangalay Luxury Villas General Manager Michelle Bishop about why the business is involved with the program.

How did the NSW First workshops help your business?

I needed to more than double the volume of bookings I received in the first year, particularly mid-week and off-peak. At the NSW First workshops, I learnt how to diversify my client base to help me grow my business in a sustainable way.

We found that particularly in January, February and March we were getting a lot of visitors from the United Kingdom and Europe and they were great guests who really enjoyed their stay and we wanted to increase business from these markets, so learning how to work with the international market was of great value.

Which international markets do you target?

Our target markets are the United Kingdom, Europe, USA and China.

How did you develop into an export-ready business?

We began the process in our first year of operation. It seemed very overwhelming at the outset but now we have established different relationships with a number of online travel agents and inbound tour operators, it has been a worthwhile initiative.

Has your product changed to appeal to inbound visitors?

Yes, we are providing more bookable experiences. For example, we have made our native ingredient talk and sixcourse tasting menu bookable online. We are also offering more in-room dining options such as breakfast hampers and charcuterie and cheese hampers to cater for guests when our restaurant isn’t open.

When hosting a famil, ensure you are as organised as possible and take time to personally greet the guests.
What are your top tips for businesses looking to become export ready?
  • Have excellent photography.
  • Have your pricing set.
  • Have one person well trained in contract management, accounts and channel management.
How did the Destination NSW New Product Workshop assist your business?

Attending the New Product Workshop has been excellent professional development for me as a business owner. I have made some great trade contacts and am working closely with other businesses that I met at this event.

What is the secret to hosting a successful trade famil?

When hosting a famil, ensure you are as organised as possible and take time to personally greet the guests.

Michelle Bishop - General Manager, Bangalay Luxury Villas
What are the benefits of working with online travel agents?

The benefits include a higher volume of bookings, which are relatively low maintenance to manage.

What are the benefits of working with inbound tour operators?

The benefits include a higher volume of guests, particularly ones with a high budget.

What has been the best thing about working in inbound tourism?

It is the assurance that you are doing everything possible to make your business a success.