A destination marketing campaign by City Of Newcastle is encouraging locals to host friends and relatives and show them all the places and activities loved by Novocastrians.
The 'Better Together' campaign kicked off this week to inspire Newcastle residents to invite those they love to see the city's stunning revitalisation.
The campaign will remind locals of enjoyable activities and places to show kith and kin, and features events, itinerary suggestions, special offers and competitions to attract greater numbers of familiar faces.
"Newcastle's visiting friends and relatives market is estimated to be worth around $160 million a year or 30 per cent of overnight expenditure to the local economy," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
"When loved ones visit they patronise restaurants and small businesses and, increasingly, hotels.
"A five per cent increase in visitors and their overall spend would result in a $16 million windfall for the city, and that's what we're targeting with this campaign.
"We're mindful that Newcastle's revitalisation will create greater opportunities in the tourism sector and we're doing our bit as a local government to drive increased visits with infrastructure and service upgrades and also marketing campaigns like Better Together."
Better Together's launch coincides with next week's inaugural Coates Hire Newcastle 500 Supercars event, which will also be the first major event at which our NEWcrew volunteers welcome visitors.
"Forty NEWcrew volunteers will debut in uniform in among the crowd at next week's Supercars race," the Lord Mayor added.
"NEWcrew is a group of around 100 enthusiastic locals who have volunteered their time to make sure visitors to Newcastle have the best experience possible."
NEWcrew volunteers Neeti Pandya, Suzanne Morrison and Helen Griffin.
The Better Together campaign also includes several competitions offering great prizes to be won.
A competition on KOFM will offer a $2,000 hospitality prize to the local who can best explain why they deserve to be reunited with friends or family here in the city.*
The Newcastle Herald will call for nominations of Newcastle's three top destinations as part of an itinerary special, with the winner scoring an all-expenses paid 'Ultimate Newcastle Weekend' package.**
And a photo competition will offer the winner the chance to have a picture of them enjoying Newcastle with loved ones featured in a projection as part of the city's New Year's Eve celebrations.
City Of Newcastle has also created a new Newcastle city guide to assist visitors during their stay. The 88-page guide includes historical and transport information, maps, business profiles and accommodation listings distributed to visitor information centres, local businesses and accommodation facilities.
* Prize includes domestic return airfares to Newcastle Airport, four nights' accommodation for two at the Novotel, lunch for four at Rustica, a harbour cruise with Nova Cruises, four passes to Tree Top Adventures and a tunnel tour of Fort Scratchley.
** Prize includes a room at Quest Newcastle West, dinner for two at Subo, lunch at Wickham Boatshed, a Segway tour at Hunter Wetlands Centre Newcastle or The Adventure Centre Hunter Valley, a 90-minute surfing lesson, a walking tour and dinner or lunch for two at Frankie's by Fibonacci Coffee.