Kyle Liston from Baked Uprising in the kitchen with Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes. Picture: Supplied.
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Newcastle businesses benefit from tourism mentorship

With the tourism dollar becoming increasingly more important, 15 Newcastle businesses have been receiving some much-needed support in developing new products and experiences for a wider market.

City of Newcastle’s (CoN) Product Development Mentoring Program provided the businesses with training and business-to-business mentoring on the best way to develop tourism products that leveraged Newcastle’s unique offering in a way that would appeal to visitors.

And Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes has hailed the program, which saw CoN contribute $150,000 to the participating businesses, a huge success.

“The results have been fantastic, with new tourism products including the launch of a new  business called Newy Rides,” she said.

“Other beneficiaries such as Baked Uprising and Mitch Revs  Gallery explored new opportunities in the tourism market to enhance their core offerings. Urban  Hum refined their tourism experience while other businesses have expanded their operations,  employed new staff and relaunched products, which were put on hold by COVID-19. “

The participating businesses were: Baked Uprising, Blackbutt Reserve, Christ Church Cathedral, Coast XP, Earp Distilling Co, Mitch Revs Gallery, Newcastle Afoot, Newcastle Backroad Tours, Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club, Newcastle Ghost Tours, Newy Rides, Nova Cruises, The Lock-Up, Underground Epicureans, and Urban Hum.

Cr Nelmes added that, on the back of the initial program’s success, facilitators Sparrowly Group will be providing a further 10 businesses with training which will be funded through CoN’s NewSkills Program.

“Investing in the tourism industry is about building a thriving, diverse and robust economy, while  also helping to reposition Newcastle as a premier tourism destination with focuses on events,  experiences, natural assets and cultural heritage,” Cr Nelmes said. 

Kyle Liston from program beneficiary Baked Uprising said that the program had proved invaluable.

“We’d never really thought of ourselves in the tourism market before, but this program allowed  us to broaden our focus to think about the business in a different way,” Kyle said. 

“The program gave  us the knowledge and confidence to develop a range of new experiences to be introduced in the  future, from sourdough-making workshops to intimate interactive experiences, showcasing Newcastle’s heart and soul as a city of makers.”