Hunter Valley Wine Country (HVWC) is in the middle of a mini ‘invasion’ of association delegates with over 800 visiting the area over the last two weeks of August.
Recently over 400 members of Family Business Australia enjoyed the pleasures of the Hunter Valley over the four days of its 2012 national conference and this week another four hundred delegates are attending the Australian Institute of Professional Photography 2012 National Conference over four days.
This surge of delegates is estimated to be worth more than $1.2m to the local economy and is a welcome return to a busy conference calendar for the Hunter Valley.
A recent ‘Country Western’ themed event held at Hope Estate Winery in the Hunter Valley.
“The fiscal tightening in the corporate sector over the past 12-18 months has had an effect on the numbers of delegates conferencing in the Hunter Valley”, said Ruth Appleby, Business Tourism marketing manager for Hunter Valley Convention Bureau.
“The hotels and venues and the services that feed off them, rely heavily on the corporate sector to keep them busy midweek. Whilst the corporate market will always be the most important for HVWC, we have been targeting the association sector more aggressively recently to build capacity from a sector that is less susceptible to the ill-winds of financial crises.” she said
The corporate sector currently accounts for around 70% of conference business in HVWC and the Association sector, which has more than doubled over the past 2 years accounts for around 20%.
Other Associations that will be coming to the Hunter Valley this year include The International Society of Hypertension which will be holding a 2 day satellite conference in advance of its main International Convention taking place in Sydney in September; the Australian Wound Management Association (NSW) in November and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Association also in November. Together they are expected to bring an additional 580 delegates for a total of 1240 room nights worth an estimated $500,000.
Hunter Valley Convention Bureau is a section of Hunter Valley Wine Country Tourism that is responsible for attracting Meetings, Incentives and Conferences to the area.