TOURISM in Port Stephens could be fetching more than $750 million a year by 2020 under a bold initiative to double the industry's annual revenue.
The vision for the region falls in line with the release of the state's Visitor Economy Taskforce report commissioned by the NSW government which aims to lift the overnight annual expenditure of visitors to NSW from $18 billion to more than $36 billion.
Destination NSW has called it "ambitious, but achievable", while Port Stephens Tourism manager Tars Bylhouwer has labelled the document one of the most comprehensive tourism reports released in NSW.
"This has never been proposed," he said.
He said if the region can achieve it's own tourism targets in line with some of the recommendations proposed, it would be well on the way to doubling its $384 million tourism economy in under eight years.
"We [Port Stephens Tourism] knew this [objective] was coming and we have had a destination management plan [in place]."
"We need to push our targets [domestically]," he said.
"Our main markets include attracting domestic visitors from south east Queensland, regional Victoria and NSW."
Mr Bylhouwer also floated his support for a four-star convention centre in the Port that could attract added investment into the region.
Meanwhile, the report, headed by a group of four independent researchers stated its aims "will develop a strategy for delivery over the next five years that will place the NSW tourism industry on a trajectory to achieve a doubling of overnight visitor expenditure by 2020."
It focuses highly on China as a key investment area, a country that Port Stephens has targeted since 1996.
"We are already a bit ahead," Mr Bylhouwer said.
And with the exception of just two countries, Indonesia and India, most of Asia has been on the Port's tourism radar since the mid 1990s. Last year Port Stephens accounted for 1.6 per cent of the state's total tourism spend and at its present rate attracts about 10 per cent of all overseas visitors to the country.
For a copy of the Visitor Economy Taskforce report visit http://www.busines.nsw.gov.au/doing-business-in-nsw/industry-action-plans/visitor-economy-taskforce.