Members update from the CEO
Since joining Destination Port Stephens (DPS) earlier this year I’ve received a warm welcome and great support to date. I have had the opportunity to personally meet many of our members and industry stakeholders over the past few months and I have appreciated the insights and information shared.
Prior to joining DPS I worked at Destination NSW for 12 years in senior management roles in regional tourism, sector development and for the past four years in international marketing. With over 20 years experience in the tourism industry I have also held senior marketing roles in the hotel industry as well as Central Coast Tourism and I am pleased to now be leading the team at DPS. My plan was to move back to a regional area and Port Stephens was top of the list due to the great tourism product the destination offers, an invested local Council and an industry that has a history of working together to drive results.
Over the past few months we have been working on several marketing projects as well as planning for the year ahead. At the members meeting in August 2018 an update on the recent marketing undertaken was presented which included:
- Domestic Digital Campaign – July to September. A digital marketing campaign is currently in market primarily targeting the Sydney market to build awareness and appeal of the destination and to drive conversion/bookings.
- Love Sea Food event was held during August and promoted both the event and Port Stephens over a six-week campaign. The integrated marketing program undertaken included high-profile advertising on Sydney Light Rail, digital and social media, PR and print. The Gala Dinner sold out and the Festival Weekend on 18-19 August attracted a record crowd of over 11,000 people on Saturday of which 50% were from outside the region.
- Auckland to Newcastle seasonal services – DPS is working with Newcastle Airport to promote the new seasonal services commencing on 22 November 2018 to 17 February 2019 and will visit New Zealand in September to attend a consumer show, meet with travel agencies and undertake travel agent training to drive visitation to Port Stephens.
- International market – DPS attended the Destination NSW South East (SE) Asia Roadshow in Singapore and Malaysia in August 2018 meeting with senior executives from leading travel agents and undertook training of travel agents’ staff. Tourism Australia is launching a new campaign this month in the SE and South Asia markets valued at $10 million and following our attendance at the SE Asia Roadshow, Port Stephens will be front of mind with key travel agencies in Singapore and Malaysia.
- International media – Showcased content developed by Travel Intern, a community of experienced marketers, writers and travel buffs with a growing online presence in Singapore/Malaysia, who visited in June 2018 and have developed video content featuring Port Stephens. This content is promoted via Travel Intern which currently achieves 360,000 monthly traffic on their website and 140,000 Facebook followers.
Further information on recent marketing activities undertaken by Destination Port Stephens is outlined in the presentation delivered at the recent members meeting. Click Here.
On 29 August 2018, the NSW Government released the Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan 2030 (VEIAP) which sets an aggressive new target of $55 billion in overnight visitor expenditure for the State by 2030. For the first time, they have also created a regional NSW target of $20 billion by 2020 and $25 billion by 2030. There are six focus areas which includes supporting regional decisions and backing Regional NSW. Click here for the full visitor economy action plan.
To grow the visitor economy to Port Stephens, Destination Port Stephens will take a collaborative approach and work in partnership with the local industry as well as with government agencies, Port Stephens Council and key stakeholders.
The future looks promising and I look forward to working with you to showcase our diverse neighbourhoods and the quality tourism products and experiences the destination offers to continue to grow visitation and the tourism economy to Port Stephens. DPS will focus on markets that offer the greatest potential to drive growth in terms of visitation and expenditure and will provide opportunities for industry to partner, to collectively promote travel to Port Stephens and drive increased visitation.
Looking forward to experiencing my first summer and the high season in Port Stephens!