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9 out of 10 visitors satisfied with the Hunter Valley wine country.



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Wed, 12th March 2008 9 OUT OF 10 VISITORS SATISFIED WITH THE HUNTER VALLEY WINE COUNTRY

Steven Ciobo MP Shadow Minister for Small Business, the Service Economy & Tourism

Nine out of ten visitors were satisfied with their trip to the Hunter Valley Wine Country, with over half (54 per cent) expressing they were in fact 'very satisfied', according to new tourism figures released today.

The Hunter Valley Wine Country Visitor Profile and Satisfaction Report by Tourism Research Australia, based on visitors between May and August 2007, reported high satisfaction levels, with the majority likely to recommend their experience to others.

Shadow Federal Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo said the figures are a terrific indicator there's a growing trend towards visiting wine regions in Australia.

''Australians are seeking the ultimate escape to unwind and discover new experiences, and 90 per cent of visitors to the Hunter Valley Wine Country say they left their recent trip satisfied,'' Mr Ciobo said.

''This high level of visitor satisfaction is remarkable for any tourism destination, but particularly for a region that is not marketed as heavily as its neighbouring cities, Newcastle and Sydney.''

The survey showed 95 per cent of visitors expect great food and wine experiences from the Hunter Valley, while 92 per cent want relaxation and rejuvenation, and 68 per cent to discover or learn something new.

''With 96 per cent of overnight visitors likely to recommend their experience to others, tourism operators in the region can expect continued growth in visitor numbers,'' Mr Ciobo said.

''While the Hunter Valley Wine Country is a leader in food and wine, there are so many other attractions such as beautiful art galleries, hot air ballooning and sports such as golf.

''The Hunter Valley is also becoming a popular destination for entertainment, with thousands recently visiting the region to see stars like Sir Elton John perform in a picturesque vineyard under open skies.

''People will flock to the wine country for entertainment come rain, hail or shine, booking out local hotels and B and B's, and driving up yield for many small businesses. The capacity to hold concerts and outdoor events opens up fantastic new opportunities for local businesses.''

The survey revealed 92 per cent of visitors to the Hunter Valley Wine Country are Australian, of which 88 per cent are from New South Wales, 6 per cent from Queensland, 2 per cent from Western Australia, and 1 per cent from each of the other states and territories.

The majority of overnight visitors (76 per cent) are likely to revisit the Hunter Valley Wine Region in the next three years. During their stay, 89 per cent visited a winery and 77 per cent dined out.