A 20 per cent jump in Australian and international business visitors to the Hunter region in the past financial year has been welcomed by the Greater Hunter’s Altogether Perfect marketing group which travelled to New Zealand for the first time this week for a major business travel expo.
Figures from Destination NSW also show the number of nights spent by domestic and international business travellers in the Hunter region in the year ending June 2015 was 59 per cent up on the figure for the previous year.
Business travellers account for 23 per cent of all New Zealand visitors to NSW in the past financial year and with this in mind, Altogether Perfect attended the Pacific Area Incentives and Conferences Expo (PAICE) in Auckland on November 18 to showcase the appeal of Newcastle, Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley to this visitor segment.
The visit was the first international event for Altogether Perfect, with three representatives meeting New Zealand organisers of off-shore conferences and reward trips – or ‘incentives’ – for high-performing staff.
Attending for Altogether Perfect was Meetings, Incentive, Conference and Events (MICE) Manager for Destination Port Stephens, Rebecca Morley, Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association Marketing Executive, Danny Eather, and the Conference and Events Executive of Newcastle hotel, Noah’s on the Beach, Rose Hossack.
Ms Morley said the latest business visitation figures for the Hunter were extremely encouraging and reflected the region’s expanded product and enhanced appeal to the business and incentives markets and also the increased use of expanded Newcastle Airport which offers direct flights interstate.
“Together, Newcastle –Australia’s seventh largest city, the famous Hunter valley and beautiful Port Stephens offer an unmatched and complementary mix of city, country and coast experiences to the business and reward trip market and that destination package is proving a winner for the region as a whole,” Ms Morley said.
“Our trip to Auckland proved very successful in raising awareness of our product further.”
Tourism Australia’s NZ Manager, Jenny Aitken, said from Auckland she was excited to see Altogether Perfect make its maiden appearance at PAICE this week.
“PAICE is NZ’s largest event targeting incentive and conference organisers who attend to research products and be inspired by destinations,” Ms Aitken said.
“Access is always a key and we would welcome direct services into Newcastle Airport as this would further open up the region’s opportunities for inbound business travel from New Zealand.”