Big rises in the number of business visitors to the Hunter region have been welcomed by Altogether Perfect – Greater Hunter Business Events, a marketing group tasked with drawing more corporate travellers to Newcastle, Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley.
According to the latest National Visitor Survey, the number of domestic visitors who stayed overnight in the Hunter region for business in the year to September, 2015, totalled 436,000, or 14.3 per cent of all domestic overnight visitors. The figure was a 12.3 per cent increase on the previous year.
Meanwhile, the number of international business visitors who stayed overnight in the Hunter in the 12 months to September, 2015, rose 35.7 per cent year-on-year to more than 14,800 or 8.9 per cent of all international overnight visitors.
Amongst daytrippers to the Hunter in the year to September, 2015, 9.5 per cent, or 543,400 people, visited for business purposes, which was a one per cent rise over the previous year.
Altogether Perfect – Greater Hunter Business Events, a collaborative marketing project launched in 2014 to promote Newcastle, Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley as venues for conferences and other business events, said the figures reflected a concerted bid to promote the region to the business events sector.
“The expansion and increased profile of Newcastle Airport as a major airline gateway to the region has also helped draw more business travellers to the region but we’re particularly pleased in the significant rise in overseas business travellers to the Hunter because it’s a sector we’ve been working on a lot, especially in New Zealand,” said Altogether Perfect spokesperson, Rebecca Morley – Meetings, Incentive, Conference and Events (MICE) Manager for Destination Port Stephens.
“Higher-yield business travellers often stay midweek throughout the year, complementing weekend and holiday period leisure traffic so drawing more corporate travellers to the Hunter is vital for strengthening the region’s visitor economy,” Ms Morley said.
“Altogether Perfect is working hard to attract more conference and incentive business to Newcastle, Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley and these latest tourism figures show we are on the right track.”
Launched in 2014, the ‘Altogether Perfect’ campaign is the name for the collaborative marketing efforts undertaken by regional partners in the Hunter Region to attract and secure business events tourism. Backed by Newcastle Convention Bureau, Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association and Destination Port Stephens and supported by dynamic industry operators, the joint marketing group attends trade fairs and sales missions and host visits to the region by key conference organisers and media to build the appeal of the Hunter region as regional Australia’s leading business tourism destination.
The campaign received funding through the Regional Visitor Economy Fund (RVEF) which is managed and administered by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.