Tourism representatives from the greater Hunter region united last week in Brisbane to showcase the region at the major international aviation conference, Routes Asia.
Attended by over 800 airline, airport and tourism delegates from 100 countries, Routes Asia is a key route development event aimed at securing new international flights to grow the tourism industry.
Newcastle Airport, in partnership with Newcastle City Council, Destination Port Stephens and Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association, attended the event with the mutual purpose to position the Greater Hunter as a significant tourism destination.
Support for the event was also provided by the NSW Government though Destination NSW, and sponsors Chateau Elan and The Vintage Hunter Valley.
Newcastle Airport Executive Manager Corporate Affairs, Hannah Jamieson said the purpose of the visit was to help secure international flights for the Hunter community.
“Our region has a passion for international travel, so we are constantly striving to secure our firstdirect international routes,” Hannah said.
“Attendance at events of this global scale, especially with a united regional tourism front, takes us one step closer to connecting the Hunter to international markets and travellers.”
International Visitor Survey figures released last week reported rural and regional NSW achieved its highest number of overseas visitors on record. In the year to December 2017,regional NSW welcomed 852,000 international visitors who stayed 14.7 million nights and spent $1.05 billion, delivering a tourism boom for local operators and attractions.
“As the second global gateway to NSW, Newcastle Airport presents an attractive opportunity forinternational airlines to capitalise on this bonanza by connecting directly to one of Australia’smost popular and prosperous tourism destinations,” Hannah said.
Newcastle Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes is challenging airlines to take a closer look at Newcastleas a destination.
“NSW’s second biggest city would wow the international tourism industry as revitalisation projects are completed. I challenge international air carriers to come and take alook at the exciting projects underway in Newcastle,” Nuatali said.
“Major coastal and city revitalisation projects are transforming the city into a tourism and event hub surrounded by stunning beaches, the renowned Hunter Valley vineyards and turquoise waters of Port Stephens, all without the bustle of Sydney.”
Routes Asia was held over three days, Sunday 18 March – Tuesday 20 March, at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
IMAGE | Representatives from the greater Hunter region at Routes Asia last week.