Regional Tourism Update
NEW Visitor Information Centre for Newcastle City of Newcastle has opened its new Visitor Information Centre (VIC), offering hands-on interactive experiences, tourist information and unique souvenirs for those welcoming friends and family to the city.
Housed in the repurposed Civic Railway Station, the VIC is located in the heart of Newcastle’s emerging tourist hub, nearby the under-construction five-star Kingsley Hotel and a stone’s throw from the Civic Theatre, Civic Park, City Hall and Museum.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the VIC was opening just in time to welcome visitors back to the city following the lifting of many of the COVID-19 travel restrictions.
“The June long weekend saw many travellers take advantage of the relaxed restrictions in what was the first opportunity to hit the open road in months,” the Lord Mayor said.
“The establishment of the VIC is another very visible step in the maturity of our city as a tourist destination. Pre-COVID-19 figures showed about five million tourists visit Newcastle each year, which is a rise of about 60% over the past five years. The value of the Newcastle tourism economy increased by 57.6% to $1.127 billion in the 12 months to March 2019 alone.“
"And with two five-star hotels now under construction and Newcastle Airport offering seasonal flights to New Zealand, the number of visitors is set to surge even further. More than 1.2 million passengers passed through the airport in the 2018-19 financial year.
”The new VIC is conveniently located at the Civic light rail stop at 430 Hunter Street. It will initially operate from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am to 2pm on Saturdays. Sunday operation will commence as demand increases and restrictions further ease.
Pictured above: Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Deputy Lord Mayor Cr Declan Clausen outside the Visitor Information Centre.
NATURAL BEAUTY The Star Attraction in Port Stephens
A new tourism campaign that celebrates the incredible natural beauty of Port Stephens has been launched by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW and Destination Port Stephens. Incredible By Nature is aimed at inspiring young and active couples to visit the region, and Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer says now is an ideal time to launch a new destination travel campaign to help restart the local economy.
“Our local community, like many others across Australia, is still dealing with the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This exciting new campaign will put Port Stephens top-of-mind for domestic travellers at a crucial time — when we need to restart the visitor economy that our community thrives on.
“We have been working closely with our tourism and business operators to make sure Port Stephens is ready to reopen, with a focus on keeping our community and visitors as safe as possible. With international borders still closed and the recent easing of travel restrictions across the country, now is the perfect time to encourage Aussies to explore their own backyard,” he said.
Destination Port Stephens successfully applied for matched dollar-for-dollar funding from Destination NSW under the Regional Tourism Fund (RTF) Marketing Program to be able to create and implement the new destination brand and marketing campaign.
Destination Port Stephens Chairman Andrew Macdonald said the Incredible By Nature campaign puts the natural wonders of Port Stephens front and centre.
“The seascapes and landscapes here are an idyllic backdrop for the many amazing experiences that feature in our campaign - from quad biking and sandboarding down the largest moving dunes in the Southern Hemisphere, to swimming with wild dolphins and hiking through bushland to the top of Mount Tomaree,” Mr Macdonald said.