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City of Newcastle supports local tourism operators to grow the visitor economy

A new program designed to assist businesses to develop, promote and sell tourism products is being launched by the City of Newcastle.

Local tourism operators are invited to apply for the targeted program, which is being funded as part of the City’s Community and Economic Resilience Package.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the City of Newcastle was working with the local industry to help it survive and recover from the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19.

“We know Newcastle is an attractive city with a wealth of natural and built assets, a broad range of accommodation and tourism providers, and has a thriving café culture and dining scene,” she said.

“While more than 5 million people visit the city each year, research shows that Newcastle lacks a good mix of bookable tourism experiences.

“Under this program, expert consultants will work alongside local tourism businesses to improve their tourism offerings and enhance their ability to attract visitor dollars, which in turn will help promote greater industry resilience, drive destination awareness and grow the visitor economy even further.

“Pre COVID-19 figures showed about five million tourists visit Newcastle each year, which is a rise of around 60% over the past five years, while the value of the Newcastle tourism economy increased 57% to $1.13 billion in the 12 months to March 2019.

“With the right mix of products and experiences, Newcastle will be in the perfect position when travel restrictions ease to grow visitation, length of stay and expenditure.”

The business growth and optimisation program builds on the free accredited training already offered to local businesses by the City of Newcastle as part of its response to the economic impact of COVID-19.

A number of places are still available across the 14 online programs being delivered by TAFE NSW, the University of Newcastle and Novaskill, with training focused on areas such as customer behaviour, digital and social media marketing, business innovation and growth, and community engagement.

“By upskilling our local workforce and empowering people to adapt, we provide positivity and support for the business community as they work to recover from this period of extraordinary economic and social disruption,” Cr Nelmes said.

Expressions of interest in the Tourism Business Growth and Optimisation Program will open on August 17.

Words: City Of Newcastle

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