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International accolade for Newcastle’s ‘Can Do’ attitude praised by local event leaders

The naming of Newcastle this week as one of only six World Festival and Event cities in the world has been welcomed by representatives of the Altogether Perfect campaign tasked to lure more corporate events to the city and surrounding regions.

The International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) announced at its annual convention in the US this week that Newcastle had joined Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Sao Paulo in Brazil, Dublin in the US state of Ohio, Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, USA, and Sydney as official World Festival and Event cities in recognition of their success at uniting local communities to host major events. Newcastle – Australia’s seventh largest and second oldest city – also won this accolade from IFEA in 2012.
Newcastle has been recognised officially as a 2014 IFEA World Festival & Event City in recognition of the city’s community leadership and ongoing, concerted efforts to provide a positive local environment that is conducive to, and encourages the success and growth of, festivals and events,” said the President and CEO of IFEA, Steven Schmader.
IFEA’s international panel of judges added in their awards announcement: “Newcastle is well on its way to achieving its vision as a resilient, connected, vibrant, culturally rich, innovative and balanced city. It has made real progress toward transforming its reputation from a steel city to a cosmopolitan coastal centre which has not gone unnoticed. It was named one of the top 10 cities in the world in Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel 2011’ guide. Newcastle’s reputation as a can-do city and its enthusiastic community ensures that any event that it hosts provides organisers and participants with world-class experiences.
The Newcastle representative of the $270,000 Altogether Perfect campaign, launched earlier this year to promote Newcastle, the Hunter Valley and Port Stephens as events and conference destinations, said she was thrilled Newcastle’s hard work at transforming the city’s image had been recognised on the world stage.
Successful partnerships between government, business and the community, boosted by the local population’s welcoming attitude and passion for culture and sport, have led to this win, with Newcastle now a vibrant, exciting and sophisticated coastal city able to host world-class, large-scale events,” said Ms Georgia Lazzari,  Business Events and Conventions Developer for the Newcastle Convention Bureau, which is behind the Altogether Perfect campaign along with Destination Port Stephens and Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association.  “Perfectly nestled between the blue waters of Port Stephens and the culinary delights of the Hunter Valley, Newcastle is ideally located to provide a wide range of activities, attractions and excursions for conference delegates and event- goers,” Ms Lazzari said.
Launched this year, the $270,000 ‘Altogether Perfect’ campaign is the name for the collaborative marketing efforts undertaken by regional partners in the Hunter Region to attract and secure business events tourism. Backed by Newcastle Convention Bureau, Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association and Destination Port Stephens and supported by dynamic industry operators, the joint marketing group attends trade fairs and sales missions and host visits to the region by key conference organisers and media to build the appeal of the Hunter region as a premier business tourism destination. The campaign received funding through the Regional Visitor Economy Fund (RVEF) which is managed and administered by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.


Photo caption: Newcastle – Crown Plaza Hotel
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