Handy Hints for completing your Experience Development Fund EOI

18 November 2021

2021–22 Financial Year

Part of the Tourism Product Development Fund.

Introduction

The following information is to provide you with more guidance when completing your Expression of Interest (EOI) for the Experience Development Fund.  Please read the Funding Guidelines first so that you have an overview of the program and the terms and conditions.

If you do not meet one or more of the eligibility requirements, do not commence an application. Your application will not be eligible if you do not meet all the eligibility requirements. If you have any doubt about your eligibility, please contact your Destination Network to seek advice.

The following information should be read in conjunction with developing your application and reviewing your form prior to submission.

As you complete the online form please regularly (at least every 30 minutes and at any time you step away from computer) click the ‘Save Draft’ button to ensure you do not lose your work.

We recommend that you use the latest version of Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera to complete the online application form. If you are using outdated versions or other systems, the site may not function as intended.

Application writing tips

  • Grant funding rounds are highly competitive. Assessors will be reviewing a high volume of EOIs.  You need to present a concise, easy to read EOI that addresses all the stated requirements of the assessment criteria for the fund.
  • Write your EOI assuming the assessor knows nothing about your business or your proposed project. Is the information you are providing easily understood by someone who doesn’t know your business or is unfamiliar with your project?
  • Write factually. The information you submit needs to be accurate. If any misleading information is included in your EOI, it will affect your chances of receiving a grant, or if you were successful it may result in the offer of funding being withdrawn.
  • Describe your project idea and how it aligns with the objectives of the grant program and the NSW Government Visitor Economy Strategy 2030.
  • Do you have a business plan? Is the business plan up to date? Is the project included in your business plan? Attach your business plan to the EOI.
  • Plan how you will use the grant money effectively to deliver the project.
  • Consider how your project idea will translate into action and all the steps required to complete it to create a project plan. Attach this project plan to your EOI.
  • What are the benefits of your project to the broader visitor economy? How will the investment in your project deliver broad and long-term benefits (e.g. creation of jobs, preservation of existing jobs, attract new markets, increase visitors, nights and/or expenditure).
  • Explain how you are or will be competitive in your sector. A grant assessor will want to see that you are serious about remaining competitive (Government has a responsibility to see that public funds are used by productive, profitable and effective businesses that will achieve successful and sustainable outcomes).
  • Answer all the questions and provide supporting evidence.

Section 1 - Applicant Business Details

1.1 Business Details (organisation or lead organisation if a consortium)

Registered Business Name: The business name supplied must be registered for GST.

ABN: The ABN supplied must relate to the Business Name supplied above.

Trading Name: If you trade under another name using the above ABN provide that trading name.

Registered Business Address: Provide the registered address of the business.

Postal Address:  If your postal address is different (e.g. a PO Box) please provide the postal address. If your registered business address is the same as your postal address, then tick the ‘Same as above’ box.

1.2 Authorised Person

This must be an individual who is able and authorised to enter into a Funding Agreement with Destination NSW on behalf of the applicant organisation, if the application is successful. This may be a Director or an owner of the business.

Title: Select the appropriate title from the drop-down list supplied e.g. Mr, Mrs, Ms, Doctor, etc.

First Name: Enter the First Name of the Authorised person.

Last Name: Enter the Last Name of the Authorised person.

Position Title: The title held in the business e.g. Director, Owner, CEO, General Manager, etc.

Postal Address: Provide the postal address of the authorised person. If it is the same as the business postal address, then tick the ‘Same as business postal address ‘ box.

Phone: Provide a phone number the Authorised person can be contacted on.

Mobile: Provide the mobile number the Authorised person can be contacted on.

Email: Supply an email address the Authorised person can be contacted on.

Please select the Business Category Type for the applicant organisation:

Select from the supplied list the category that describes your type of business.

1.3 Primary Contact

This person will be contacted on all matters relating to this application. It can be the authorised person or an individual preparing the application on behalf of the business applying for the Funding. If it will be the Authorised Person, then tick the ‘Same as Authorised Person’ box. If a different person is to be the Primary Contact, then complete all the contact details requested.

Title: Select the appropriate title from the drop-down list supplied e.g. Mr, Mrs, Ms, Doctor, etc.

First Name: Enter the First Name of the Primary Contact.

Last Name: Enter the Last Name of the Primary Contact.

Position Title: The title held in the business e.g. Director, Owner, CEO, General Manager, etc.

Relationship to Business: From the drop down, list please select the option that best describes your relationship to the applicant business.

Phone: Provide a phone number the Primary Contact can be contacted on.

Mobile: Provide the mobile number the Primary Contact can be contacted on.

Email: Supply an email address the Primary Contact can be contacted on.

1.4 Business Category

Please select the Business Category Type, from the supplied list, that best describes your type of business structure. If you are unsure, please talk to your Accountant for advice.

1.5 GST Registration

Is the applicant organisation registered for GST? Select Yes or No to answer this question.

Attach evidence of your GST Registration. You can obtain this evidence by going to the Australian Business Number Look Up website and entering the ABN you supplied in 1.1. You can print the results page to a PDF format and then upload the PDF file to your application.

If the ABN lookup doesn’t confirm you are registered for GST, then you cannot apply to the funding until you are registered for GST and can attach evidence of your registration to the application. If you are successful you will need to still be registered for GST to be eligible to enter into a Funding Agreement with Destination NSW.

1.6 Sharing your information

This question is seeking your approval for Destination NSW to share the content of the application with staff members of Destination NSW, the relevant Destination Network and external advisors of Destination NSW for the purposes of assessment and communication and for information purposes to certain NSW Government Ministerial Representatives.

Without providing this approval, your application cannot be assessed. However, under privacy rules we need your permission to share the contents. All assessors are bound by confidentiality agreements and codes of conduct. Your business information will be treated as Commercial-in-Confidence.

Select Yes or No to answer this question.

Section 2 - Project Details

2.1 Business Name and Physical Location

If the Business Name and Physical Location of the project is the same as the Applicant Business Name tick the ‘Same as Applicant Business Name and Business Address’ box.

If the information is different, provide the relevant Business Name and Address as requested in the application form.

2.2 Local Government Area

What Local Government Area is the business located in? If you are unsure of the Government Area name please check by visiting the Office of Local Government website and typing in the business’s address.

You can then select the correct Local Government Area name from the drop-down list in the application form.

2.3 If the project will be undertaken over multiple locations please provide further details below:

If your project will be undertaken over multiple locations, please provide information in the free text box to explain all the locations that your project will occur in. If your project does not involve multiple locations, please skip this question.

2.4 Project Title

Provide a short simple working title for your project. Review the successful projects from the previous Product Development funding program on the Destination NSW website for some ideas of how to keep it simple.

2.5 Project Description

Clearly state what the funding you are requesting will be used for e.g. establish a new ‘xyz’ attraction or develop a new ‘abc’ experience and why.

Explain what other work you will be undertaking in the short term i.e. within 12 months of the work funding is being requested for. If you have longer term plans outlined in your Business Plan, reference that section of your Business Plan to provide the detail on your long-term vision for your business.

Outline how the development will fit into your existing business and why you believe the project will work in the location.

If it is a new business explain why you believe there is a need for the new attraction or experience and why you believe the business will work in the location.

You can provide more detail and evidence by supplying attachments at the end of this question.

In your answer reference the documents you are attaching in support of your answer - reference the attachment by its name and the section/page number(s) you want the assessor to read.

Some key attachments are: your business plan, aerial view(s) of the site with the development location highlighted or marked out to show where it will be located, photographs of the existing tourism experience and site of where the new tourism product will be located, a project plan including the timeframe for the various elements of your project to be completed,  research to support the viability of your project in the location, financial forecasting, anticipated visitor numbers and ticket pricing and a copy of the property title or lease agreement for the location(s) the project will occur.

The assessment of your EOI will be based on the information you supply. You need to supply enough information for an assessor to understand the new attraction or experience to be developed, your business model and to be able to assess the application against the criteria.

NOTE: Do not attach the same attachment in multiple locations within your application. Attach the document once and when you reference it later in your application refer the assessor to where you have attached it.

2.6 Does the project require a Development Application?

Simply select Yes or No as appropriate for your project.

If your project requires construction work or installation of prefabricated infrastructure, please check with your Council to confirm that a DA is not required. If you are shortlisted and invited to submit a full application, you will be asked to supply a letter confirming a DA is not required if this type of activity is part of your project.

2.7 Has the Development Approval been obtained?

Please select Yes or No as relevant. If your answer is Yes, please attach a copy of the complete DA (and yes, we do want all the pages to be scanned and attached) including the approved plans stamped by the Council.

If you select No, attach the plans you have or will be submitting to Council and advise when this did or will happen.  Also please provide the anticipated timeframe for the approval process e.g. submitted to Council on (insert date), Council decision anticipated on (insert date).

Should your EOI be shortlisted and you are invited to submit a full application, to be competitive, you will need to have the approved DA at the time of submitting the full application.

2.8 How many weeks per year do you intend the new attraction or experience will be available for visitors?

Insert the number of weeks you intend to be open to visitors in the field provided.

This question is seeking confirmation that you meet one of the key eligibility requirements which is that your new attraction or experience will be available to visitors for at least 50 weeks of each calendar year.

Please note that this excludes situations where due to emergency orders, natural disasters or other unforeseeable circumstances; your business is unable to operate. It is asking about your normal, planned operating arrangements.

2.9 Get Connected Listing

A Get Connected Listing is a free product listing for NSW tourism products. A listing allows Destination NSW to promote a tourism product on  www.visitnsw.com or www.sydney.com. These websites are the primary call to action for all Destination NSW marketing and promotion of NSW.

If you intend to create a (or update your existing) Get Connected listing once the new attraction or experience is open to visitors, please select Yes.

If this is something you are not willing to do, select No. Please note that if you select No your EOI will not be eligible to proceed to being shortlisted. Without a Get Connected listing Destination NSW will be unable to promote your business to potential visitors.

2.10 Bookable online

Increasingly consumers expect to be able to search, book and pay online for the activities they want to undertake on a holiday. In response to this consumer expectation a key focus of the Visitor Economy Strategy (VES) 2030 is Digital Transformation.

This question is asking if visitors to your proposed new attraction or experience will be able to book and pay online, through your own and/or a third-party website. Please select Yes or No as relevant for your business.

Please note that an online inquiry form, email, social media or ‘chat’ inquiry option does not constitute being bookable online. Bookable online refers to consumers being able to, in ‘real time’, see your availability, make a booking and have the booking confirmed 24/7.

If your business will be in an area with no or limited internet connectivity, which results in online bookings not being viable for your business, you may still apply. Please select No and attach an explanation which clarifies the challenges regarding connectivity. The additional information is important for the Assessors to understand why your business should be exempt from being bookable online.

Section 3 - Project Budget

3.1 Project Budget

Provide a summary budget in the template within the application form. All costs included in the budget are to be provided excluding GST. You can add extra rows to the table by clicking on the ‘Add Row” button.

The budget shouldn’t just be one line, for example, Building Works $550,000. You can bundle/group expenses under key headings if the detail is available in a more detailed budget attached to your application. All anticipated project costs should be included in the budget, even ineligible costs.

The guidelines provide a list of the types of expenses that are not eligible.

The budget must be at least $160,000 of eligible expenses to meet the minimum grant threshold of $80,000 for a matched dollar-for-dollar grant. In most cases, due to projects including ineligible expenses, your total budget will be greater than $160,000. Attaching a more detailed budget will assist the assessors to better understand the costs of your project and confirm it meets the minimum threshold.

The budget must include an allocation for the independent audit once the project is completed.  The audit only considers the costs and work associated with the funded project. It is not a full audit of your business. Up to one percent (1%) of the total project cost can be allocated to the audit in your budget.

The audit can be completed by an Auditor or a Chartered Practicing Accountant (CPA) providing it isn’t the CPA or accounting company that normally prepares your business accounts.

3.2 Matching cash

You need to confirm that you have enough funds on hand to cover your own contribution to complete the project. ‘On hand’ means that you have the cash available in your own or business’s bank account, a line of credit, approved loan, partner investment and/or non-NSW State Government funding. Future earnings, cash flow, sale of property or shares is not eligible to be considered ‘on hand’.

Select Yes or No.

If you are invited to submit a full application, you will be asked to provide evidence of these funds being available.

3.3 Other NSW Government funding for this project

If you have received any NSW Government Funding for any part of the project described in your application select Yes. If no NSW Government Funding has been received, select No.

If you select Yes, then provide details of the funding that has been received i.e. Which funding, how much funding received and when was it received. Please add the information into the text box.

3.4 Other NSW Government funding for the business

If you have received any NSW Government Funding for any activity in the last three years, then select Yes. If no NSW Government Funding has been received, select No.

If you select Yes, then provide details of the funding that has been received i.e. Which funding, how much funding received and when was it received. Please add the information into the text box.

3.5 Commonwealth Government funding for this project

If you have received any Commonwealth Government Funding for any part of the project described in your application select Yes. If no Commonwealth Government Funding has been received, select No.

If you select Yes, then provide details of the funding that has been received i.e. Which funding, how much funding received and when was it received. Please add the information into the text box.

Section 4 - Assessment Criteria

4.1 Strategic and marketing impact

This refers to the business’s effectiveness in driving outcomes for NSW.

The VES (Visitor Economy Strategy) 2030 identifies the following existing strengths:

Existing strengths

STRENGTH DETAILS
1. Icons and hidden gems
  • Iconic Sydney destinations and attractions
  • Secret precincts and places
  • World-class events and festivals
  • Vibrant retail precincts
2. Small-town charm
  • Small towns with soul
  • Beach and the hinterland
  • Events with personality
  • Self-drive tourism (road trips)
  • History and heritage
  • Coastal cruising
  • Local, handmade and artisanal
3. Vibrant contemporary culture
  • Living Aboriginal culture
  • Significant cultural infrastructure
  • Art, music, screen and live performance
  • LGBTQIA+ culture and events
4. Reconnect in nature
  • National Parks
  • Bush and outback stargazing
  • Up close with marine life
  • Iconic walks, rail and mountain bike trails and cycling
  • Changing colours of the seasons
  • Luxury stays/ glamping
  • Caravan and camping
5. World-class food and drink
  • From the producers (paddock to plate and agri-tourism)
  • Winery, brewery, distillery experiences
  • World-class dining in spectacular settings

And emerging strengths:

STRENGTH DETAILS
New icons
  • Western Sydney Airport, Western Parklands City and the Aerotropolis
  • 24-Hour Economy
  • New visitor attractions statewide
  • New event infrastructure and content
  • New urban and regional precincts and places
Eco-wellbeing
  • Eco-tourism
  • Sustainability
  • Volun-tourism
  • Wellness tourism
Everyone’s invited
  • Accessible products and places
  • Liveable, connected cities and regions

4.1 a) Which current and/or emerging strength(s), as identified in the VES 2030, does the new attraction or experience align with? Select all those that are applicable.

This question is asking you to identify each of the strengths that you believe your new attraction or experience aligns with by selecting the check box next to each relevant strength. Please only select only the strengths that have a clear alignment to your new product. Examples of weak, vague or insubstantial links include:

  • Proposing an alignment with ‘Living Aboriginal culture’ because you are naming your product using the local Aboriginal language, but you are not an Aboriginal owned or operated business
  • Proposing an alignment with any strength under ‘WORLD-CLASS FOOD AND DRINK’ because you happen to serve food, wine and/or beer

For more ideas review Destination NSW’s Strategies and Plans, such as the VES 2030, Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan, NSW Aboriginal Product Toolkit, the Food and Wine Strategy or talk to your Destination Network or Tourism Manager.

4.1 b) For each of the alignments selected above explain how or why you believe the new attraction or experience being created will build on or support these strengths.

Please explain how or why you believe the new attraction or experience will build on or support each of the strengths you selected in question 4.1 a). You have a maximum of 4000 characters to supply your answer.

Section 5 - Declaration

The declaration is a legal declaration in relation to the contents of the EOI so please ensure the Authorised Person reads the declaration carefully and is clear about what they are ‘signing’ their name to.

The declaration can only be ‘signed’ by the Authorised person. By typing in the Authorised Person’s name and Position Title they are legally deemed to have signed the declaration.

The declaration must be signed prior to submitting the EOI.

Submitting your EOI

Applicants should review their EOI carefully before submitting, to ensure all questions are answered honestly and thoroughly and that all required information and documents are attached to support their EOI.  Once EOIs are submitted, applicants will not be able to change their submission. Any missing, incomplete or ambiguous information will reduce the competitiveness of the EOI.

Once all the information is complete you can submit your EOI.

If there is a missed mandatory field or information supplied in the incorrect format the system will not accept the EOI. If this occurs error message(s) will appear at the top of the EOI form in red. The relevant fields in the EOI will also be marked in red as you move through the form.

You will need to fix these errors and re-save the EOI before it can be successfully submitted. Please do NOT leave submitting your EOI until the deadline. You may have insufficient time to resolve any issues prior to the closing date and time.

Once you have successfully submitted your EOI you will receive a confirmation email from Tourism.Funding@dnsw.com.au. If you do not receive a confirmation email, the EOI has not been submitted. Please check your Spam or Junk Mail folder.

You can also see the status of your EOI from your dashboard. Log out and log back into the online portal. Check the EOI status column of the dashboard. If the EOI is still marked as draft, it has not been submitted.

If after checking for error messages, you are still unable to submit your EOI, please email Tourism.Funding@dnsw.com.au and provide your EOI ID Number so we can review the draft and provide technical assistance.

What Happens after the EOI is submitted?

Destination NSW, in partnership with the Destination Networks, will review and assess the EOIs submitted. A short list will be developed of the strongest projects to be invited to complete a full application.

You will be notified of the outcome of your EOI as soon as possible. Destination NSW aims to provide this advice within six (6) weeks of the closing date.


Related pages

Tourism Product Development Fund

Experience Development Fund – Guidelines