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Hometown Holidays helps troubled tourism ventures

Between border closures, venue closures, social distancing restrictions and lockdowns, the travel industry was the industry hardest hit by COVID-19. With people encouraged to stay home as much as possible and state and international borders locked down, Newcastle retail, hospitality and tourism businesses were feeling the pinch.

In late 2020, the Hometown Holidays competition offered the chance for 100 Newcastle residents to win a $500 voucher to spend with 70 participating hotels, restaurants and tour operators.

More than 3,500 people entered the competition, resulting in more than $50,000 of spending between December 2020 and February 2021 at participating businesses. Not only did the competition help get Novocastrians back out spending in the local area, it's hoped that it will encourage repeat visits and word-of-mouth recommendations.

The Hometown Holidays initiative was created by a team at the University of Newcastle in response to a City of Newcastle grant aimed at alleviating some of the financial pain felt by Newcastle businesses during the pandemic.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said, "The Hometown Holiday campaign is a positive legacy for our city."

"We will see over $50,000 injected directly back into the local visitor economy over the next three months of the campaign, not to mention the multiplier effects that will see over $150,000 inject into the local economy."


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