City prepares operators for tourism-led economic recovery

City of Newcastle is inviting businesses to learn more about developing unique and marketable visitor offerings so they can make the most of an expected post-COVID-19 tourism boom.

The City’s Product Development Mentoring Program has already helped 15 businesses offering everything from bike tours to baked goods with training and mentoring to shift their product in a way that appeals to visitors.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said City of Newcastle is committed to enhancing the local visitor experience, with tourism set to play a vital role in the city’s economic recovery.

“Prior to COVID-19 Newcastle’s thriving tourism industry contributed over $945 million to the local economy each year, with more than 5.1 million international and domestic visitors flocking to experience our city’s diverse natural beauty, vibrant nightlife and world-class events,” Cr Nelmes said.

“Our sights are set on tourism to bolster Newcastle’s COVID-disrupted economy by leveraging and celebrating Newcastle’s cultural, natural and built heritage points of difference.

“We’ve engaged expert consultants who will work alongside 10 local businesses to develop bookable experiences to attract visitor dollars, which in turn will help promote greater industry resilience, drive destination awareness and grow the visitor economy.

“The results of our pilot Product Development Mentoring Program established in 2020 were encouraging, with 15 local businesses benefiting from the program, including the launch of a new business called Newy Rides.

“Other beneficiaries such as Baked Uprising and Mitch Revs Gallery explored new opportunities in the tourism market to enhance their core offerings. Urban Hum refined their tourism experience while other businesses have expanded their operations, employed new staff and relaunched products, which were put on hold by COVID-19.

“By improving our city’s existing bespoke bookable tourism experiences, Newcastle will be well positioned to welcome back visitors when lockdown restrictions ease.”

The program will be delivered virtually, with an in-depth business review followed by five one-on-one mentoring sessions tailored to each individual operator’s needs.

The Product Development Mentoring Program is funded under the City’s NewSkills training program.

Expressions of interest are now open, visit City of Newcastle.

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