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The Hunter Valley's Wine & Tourism now a long term unified approach

The Hunter Valley, Australia's oldest and most revered wine region, has last night come together under one unified voice. In a historic vote, unprecedented in the modern history of the region, the members of the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association (HVWIA) and Hunter Valley Wine Country Tourism (HVWCT) opted in favour of a new peak tourism & wine marketing and advocacy body.

The unified body, the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association (HVWTA), will link the strengths of the tourism Association's destination marketing activities and the wine industry's business support and advocacy, making it one of NSW's most influential industry bodies.

This move represents the culmination of a number of initiatives, including the launch of the Hunter Valley's unified wine and tourism brand in April 2011, to ensure that the region continues to be one of the pillars of both the tourism and wine industries.

"The two organisations have long recognised that a unified and strategic direction to market and advance tourism and wine is desperately needed to cut through the fierce wine and wine tourism competition," says Dean Gorddard, Executive Manager of HVWCT "The Hunter Valley is one of Australia's most historic and revered premium wine regions with a range of world class wine and tourism products. Our approach within the industry and to market needs to reflect this in a professional and cohesive manner."

Moving forward, the Association will be committed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the local visitor economy and will immediately focus on a number of key initiatives:

• To finalise the development of an overarching 5 year Destination Management Plan
• To increase the Hunter Valley's share of voice in the media,
• To stimulate greater market penetration for Hunter Valley wines, and
• To protect the natural and agricultural assets of the region from coal seam gas exploration and other environmental threats

The new industry body already has the valued support of Cessnock City Council, who this week allocated the full amount of the proposed tourism funding allocation of $415,000 in its budget, which will now be placed on public exhibition.

"These are exciting times for the Hunter Valley. We are now in the best possible position to safeguard a prosperous and sustainable future for two of the Hunter Valley's key industries. We want to ensure that Hunter Valley wines, the Hunter Valley visitor experience - the Hunter Valley Way of Life continues to be recognised and enjoyed by consumers around the world" concludes Rebecca Poynter, President of HVWCT.


For further information please contact

• Dean Gorddard (Executive Manager, HVWCT) m: 0424 933 460 or p: 02 4990 0934
• Rebecca Poynter (President, HVWCT) m: 0407 710 084
• Andrew Margan (President, HVWIA) m: 0418 201 908

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Daily flights to Newcastle from Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ballina/Byron Bay, Canberra and Sydney with connecting international flights.