Hunter Valley Destination Management Plan 2022 - 2030

The Hunter Valley Destination Management Plan (DMP) outlines the vision, strategic framework and priorities that will guide a strong, sustainable, diverse, and resilient Hunter Valley visitor economy for years to come.

Tourism makes an important economic contribution to the Hunter Valley. The visitor economy is the fourth largest industry in the Cessnock LGA, contributing $501m of economic output each year. It employs as many as 1668 people and continues to grow.

The Hunter Valley is also home to significant landmarks and lands important to the Aboriginal people of the region, in particular the Wonnurua/Wannurah people. This rich and ancient cultural history holds the protentional to work with Aboriginal peoples and organisations to support efforts to develop cultural experiences.

For these reasons it is important to create a plan to manage the growth of the visitor economy in order to ensure opportunities are fully capitalised on and that growth is managed in a strategic way which benefits the entire community through the creation of jobs and enhancing the lifestyle of those who live in our area.

To ensure that global visitor economy trends and industry insights were captured in the Hunter Valley DMP, Council utilised tourism industry experts Destination Marketing Store as project consultants. Following extensive community, government and industry engagement the Hunter Valley DMP 2022 – 2030 has been developed.

The goal of the Hunter Valley DMP is to grow the Hunter Valley Visitor Economy from $641M in 2020 to $958M by 2030 (aligning with the NSW Visitor Economy Strategy 2030 targets).

This goal will be achieved by:

  • Encouraging greater regional dispersal;
  • Increasing visitor spend by 25%;
  • Increasing the average length of stay from 2.55 days to the NSW average of 3.3 days;
  • Increasing mid-week visitation by 20%;
  • Increasing the number of available beds by 10%;
  • Doubling the number of bookable experiences; and
  • Doubling international visitation.

The key objectives driven by the strategic framework and priority projects will be to:

  • Showcase and build the region’s internationally renown food and wine and events position;
  • Enhance and diversify the experience offering;
  • Attract new markets to the Hunter Valley; and
  • Enrich the perception of the Hunter Valley as a diverse and rich destination.

The Hunter Valley DMP is supported by the Situational Analysis document which contains detailed visitor data, visitor demographics and provides a background in understanding the area and factors that were considered during the preparation of the Hunter Valley DMP.