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Tourism jump assisting local business sentiment


Release Date: 3/10/2018
The Hunter Business Chamber believes the latest release of the National Tourism Statistics points to a reason that business sentiment is currently relatively strong in Newcastle and the Lower Hunter.
 
“Our recently released September Business Conditions Survey indicated that parts of the Hunter region was bucking a downward trend in sentiment across NSW and we suspect the 12% jump in regional tourism expenditure to June 2018 was a contributing factor” said Hunter Business Chamber CEO, Bob Hawes.
 
The latest figures released by Tourism Research Australia show that visitation to the Hunter by domestic visitors was up by nearly 13% and visitor nights by 14.3% bringing the region in at number 10 in the national rankings.
 
“The Hunter ranks above Adelaide and Canberra in terms of overnight visitation so we’re no slouch and there is a belief amongst operators in the local tourism sector we can be doing so much more,” Mr Hawes said.
 
“The Hunter has always done well in the domestic tourism stakes and these latest figures bear that out. For day trippers we’re number nine nationally however the increase from this cohort has been far more modest compared to overnight stays,” Mr Hawes added.
“There’s no doubt Newcastle is attracting greater attention on the back of the revitalisation. We’re building on the existing pillars of the Hunter wine country and Port Stephens and hopefully revealing a portfolio which truly allows visitors to spend more time in the region that they would have in the past.
 
“The NSW Minister for Tourism, Adam Marshall has an ambition to attract regional and rural tourism spending of $25 billion by 2030 and the latest trends will be positive news for the government. However, we can’t relax as the need for improved tourism related infrastructure and a skilled industry to support this will be vital.
 
“Regions risk over promising and under delivering and the Hunter Business Chamber is taking a particular interest in the sector to make sure it’s in a position to help prevent this happening in the Hunter.
 
“If we don’t plan for growth and get it right, it’s a steep fall that can eventuate. There is a positive vibe about this region currently and social media and personal recommendations from visitors will be assisting us in that respect.

We don’t want to see a shift because we have fallen short in expectations and we’re pleased that tourism operators we speak with are aware of this and trying to guard against any negative change”, Mr Hawes concluded.



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