A 99 per cent jump in stays in the Hunter region by business tourists over the past year has been welcomed by the Altogether Perfect marketing group which has received new funding to launch its second year campaign to lure more corporate travellers to Newcastle, Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley.
Figures from Destination NSW show domestic business tourists spent a total of 1.35 million visitor nights in the Hunter region in 2014, or 15.7 per cent of nights spent by all visitors to the area. This was 99 per cent up on the 678,210 nights spent by business tourists in the region in 2013, which was 9.4 per cent of all nights. International visitor nights for business travellers to the region also rose 70 per cent in the year to September last year over 2013.
Altogether Perfect, 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 were a “great boost” to the region’s economy and reflected the hard work invested by many operators to enhance the appeal of the region to the corporate sector.
“These figures are fantastic for our region’s burgeoning business events industry and a great boost for our visitor economy, with corporate travellers staying midweek and year-round,” said Altogether Perfect spokesperson, Rebecca Morley – Meetings, Incentive, Conference and Events (MICE) Manager for Destination Port Stephens. “Business events and the ideas and intelligence that come with them also help enrich host communities and vice versa so seeing more visitors in suits in the Hunter’s city, country and coast region is a win-win for everyone.”
Ms Morley announced that for its second year of operation from July, 2015, the Altogether Perfect campaign had received renewed funding through the Regional Visitor Economy Fund managed by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. Funding of $115,000 would be matched by the industry to create a $230,000 campaign for 2015/16 that would focus on product development in the region, an integrated digital marketing strategy, presence at key trade shows around Australia, sales missions and a push to attract more conference and incentive business from New Zealand.
“We know the beaches, wildlife, wineries and business events venues of Newcastle, Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley are of great appeal to the corporate market in NZ so tapping more of that demand will be a key aim for us moving forward,” Ms Morley said.
“With the valued support of major sponsors like Newcastle Airport and Destination NSW, our Altogether Perfect campaign will now work even harder to position the Greater Hunter as a leading business events destination.”
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 THE number one 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.