Port Stephens has become the well-earned holiday destination for more than 6,600 visiting Chinese and Taiwanese tourists, with the area set for an estimated $745,800 economic boost over six days.
The travelling cohort is an ‘incentive group’ from the global health and beauty care company Jeunesse, with the visit to the Tomaree Peninsula part of their reward for exceeding business sales over the past financial year.
The arrival of the massive group, spread into 1,100 people per day over a six day period, is a “major sign of success” for tourism operators in the region, Moonshadow – TQC Cruises’ development manager Janene Rees said.
“These major organised visits are creating great awareness for what a fantastic tourism destination Port Stephens is, it’s a real positive,” she said. “We’ve actively worked in this market, creating relationships over in Asia in the past thirteen years, more than thirty times.”
“This was a strategic plan to go after business events, and this is so rewarding to have it pay off. This is validation that we were on the right path and it’s starting to bring groups here. The more groups like these we have coming through the region, the better it will be for [all tourism operators].”
Ms Lees also said all four of the tourism collective operators, and everyone working with them, was “excited”.
“We’re all excited, there’s all these people coming to town,” she said. “It’s going to busy, long days but the groups and staff enjoy it. It’s a really great thing for all of us working in tourism.”
As well as Moonshadow’s involvement in the planned tour program, Murray’s Craft Brewing Co, Oakvale Wildlife Park and Port Stephens 4WD Tours will also be hosting the international visitors.
It’s a perfect way to “showcase [the] spectacular region and unique experiences”, explained Eileen Gilliland, Destination Port Stephens chief executive and spokesperson for the collaboration.
“The bid to win these incentive groups for the region involved the commitment and collaborative efforts of the local tourism industry,” Ms Gilliland said. “Destination Port Stephens is delighted that Jeunesse has chosen to feature Port Stephens.”
“The tour program will showcase our spectacular region and … provides an opportunity to generate repeat visitation in the future.”
The visit by Jeunesse’s workers come a year after incentive groups from Nu Skin and Amway selected Port Stephens as one of their destinations. The later group brought around 3,000 tourists into the region.