Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Alliance
On 24 September the ‘Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Alliance’ was launched in a ceremony in Hunter Valley Wine Country before stakeholders of Cessnock City Council, Singleton Council and the Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association.
This Alliance will aim to increase visitors to the region, double overnight visitor expenditure by 2020, and will be led by the inaugural Chairman and previous Minister for Tourism, Mr George Souris.
“The launch of the Alliance is an important in the life of the State, a first time approach: the inauguration of a unique concept to combine the forces of two Local Government Areas involved and the representative organisation of the Hunter Valley wine and tourism industries,” announced the new Chairman Mr George Souris. “I look forward to working closely with Mr Barilaro and my other former colleagues Premier Mike Baird, Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Trade and Tourism Minister Stuart Ayers.”
The Hunter Valley is recognised as the signature wine district of NSW and is virtually at the back door of some 5.5 million domestic residents in Sydney and the Hunter, and a very close distance from the gateway airport and cruise ship epicentre of Australia delivering some 83.5million tourists to NSW annually.
“It’s about having no borders when it comes to promoting the visitor experience. Whether it be the mural walk in Kurri Kurri, a leisurely drive to historic Wollombi, bass fishing on Lake St Clair, visiting the Australian Army Infantry Museum in Singleton or working your way around the boutique village food and wine trails of Broke and Hermitage Road, there is so much on offer. It is critical for stakeholders of our beautiful tourist area to have one voice in order to grow the capacity of the destination and ensure sustainable, economic and industry growth.”
The Hunter Valley also offers unrivalled food and wine experiences across fine restaurants, cellar doors and accommodation establishments. All complemented by a wonderful range of festivals and activities such as ballooning, horse riding, flying fox at Rose Point Park Singleton, the famous Hunter Valley Gardens and world class concerts, to name a few.
The Alliance will move towards partnering on critical projects and achieving a common platform for booking accommodation, events and operations. Its funding opportunities and planning will link in with the NSW Government’s Visitor Economy Taskforce Report and Action Plan.
“International tourists will be encouraged to travel due to the strength of the Australian dollar, domestic tourists will be encouraged to tour within Australia and we must all ensure we pursue excellence and the world’s best practice to ensure the Hunter is at the forefront of the NSW economy,” Mr Souris said.
Mr Souris will be meeting all sectors and operators of local industry, big and small; emphasising the message of unity.
While other sectors are not enjoying job growth, tourism currently employs 2,500 people in the Hunter Valley. This united front should continue to show a positive growth for our region.
The Alliance Committee