What an INCREDIBLE evening! On Thursday the 16th of March, BusCom held their first ever tourism event – The Hunter Coast Regional Experience. We took a huge punt on the weather and it certainly paid off! Guests arrived and enjoyed a glass of local wine and canapes before taking their seats in the outside courtyard of the historic Fort Scratchley barracks. Our MC for the evening, Matt Anderson – General Manager of Newcastle Crowne Plaza, invited University of Newcastle Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor Kevin Lyons to the stand to say a few words before introducing Doctor Tamara Young – Senior Lecturer in Tourism at the University of Newcastle, Tim Askew – City Revitalisation Coordinator at Newcastle City Council, and Will Creedon – local tourism and hospitality advocate. Dr Young explained the concept of tourism and the future of tourism in the Hunter region; Mr. Askew presented an update on Newcastle Council’s visitor services and Smart City initiatives; and Mr. Creedon provided an insight into the transformation of a destination. Our speakers were able share different viewpoints from an academic, government and professional perspective, however, they all touched on the important notion that tourism is everybody’s business.
Following our three speakers, a panel of four, involving David Fellows – incoming Chairman of Sydney Surrounds North Destination Network, David Brown – Business Development Officer at Port of Newcastle and incoming Chairman of Newcastle Tourism Industry Group, Peter Cock – CEO of Newcastle Airport, and Will Creedon, took questions from the floor. Guests were interested to know the positive and negative impacts of tourism on the Hunter region, particularly in relation to the upcoming V8 Supercars and international expansion plans for Newcastle Airport. Panelists were excited about the overall prospects of tourism in the Hunter region and supported the local council’s Smart City initiatives.
Matt Anderson officially wrapped up proceedings before our special guests and speakers were presented with gifts, generously donated by local winemaker, Draytons. Guests replenished their glasses at the bar before spending the rest of the evening chatting and networking with fellow attendees.
A huge thank you to our sponsors – Port of Newcastle, Newcastle City Council and the University of Newcastle Faculty of Business and Law; Stuart Ford from Fordtronic Video and Sound for providing and managing the audio and visual components, MC Matt Anderson, photographer Jackson Brunner, Blue Star catering, our speakers, special guests and attendees for your involvement
Didn’t get to go? You definitely missed out, but that’s ok, there are still more awesome events coming up.