Media Release 26.09.2018

Greater Hunter on mission inviting New Zealanders to visit region with new direct flights
Wednesday 26 September 2018

Tourism industry leaders from Newcastle, Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley are today bound for New Zealand on a trade and tourism mission to showcase the region’s beautiful sandy white beaches, award-winning food and wine, and world-famous coastal city, experiences and culture.

On 22 November 2018, the Greater Hunter Region will welcome the first international flight from Auckland opening up a new direct, in-demand, tourist destination to New Zealand.

Newcastle Airport, in partnership with City of Newcastle, Destination Port Stephens and Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association, Newcastle Tourism Industry Group and Destination Sydney Surrounds North, will meet with key tourism industry partners and travel agents in Auckland to promote three of the most desirable international destinations in New South Wales.

Newcastle Airport CEO, Dr Peter Cock, said, “We can’t wait to welcome the influx of international visitors to our region and the innumerable benefits it will bring to the local community and regional economy.”

The new international route, operated by Virgin Australia three times a week between 22 November 2018 and 17 February 2019, is set to drive significant community benefit, including $6.1 million to the local economy, 60 additional jobs and over 9,000 visitors to the region over the 13 week seasonal service.

Destination Sydney Surrounds North General Manager, Glenn Caldwell, said the new international flights are a fantastic opportunity for the region and having a strong coordinated representation in the New Zealand market will certainly make the most of the opportunity.

“The collaborative spirit of the region has ensured continued and unified representation of the Greater Hunter Region on an international stage. We are extremely grateful to our destination partners, and for the ongoing support of Destination NSW and Destination Sydney Surrounds North, in providing our region with the international connectivity it deserves,” added Peter.

“Whether for new global business connections, couples seeking a leisurely long weekend, or friends and family visiting loved ones, travellers can be enjoying the best of both countries in a little over 3 hours.

Our region has a strong passion for international travel and support of the new route has been extremely strong. New Zealand is our number one unserved market, so it is fitting that the first flight through our new international facilities service Auckland,” said Peter.

In addition to several official meetings, the trade mission will host a function for New Zealand travel agents and wholesaler, and an exhibit at the Flight Centre Travel Expo on Saturday 29 September, which attracts over 10,000 consumers to promote the new services and travel to the Greater Hunter Region.

Ends.

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