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There is no doubt Newcastle’s beaches are an attraction, with a media report noting that “The 2013 summer season has been a busy one for Newcastle’s professional lifeguards with more than 1.7 million visitors estimated to have visited the city’s beaches.”

The lack of surf tourism focus in Newcastle is depriving the Tourism Industry and economy in general through not taking full advantage of the significant role Newcastle plays in Surfing and Surf Culture, along with building on the existing events and infrastructure operating in the City.

Working with the assistance of the World Surf Cities Network and key stakeholders including Newcastle Tourism Industry Group, accommodation providers, Newcastle NOW, SURFEST, Event Promoters, the Surf Industry, and related stakeholders, Newcastle kick start a strategic Events/Sports Tourism strategy which appropriately promotes Newcastle as a attractive and vibrant surf and surf culture destination.

This will be achieved through:

Establishing a Festival of Surfing associated with SURFEST

  • This will provide the potential for three weeks of night-time activity, continuing on from the day's events and provide sustained opportunities for trade shows and commercial activities.
    • By drawing key stakeholders together as soon as possible, leaders and decision makers will be enthused to create a sustainable and ongoing event which links into Newcastle's high profile internationally acknowledged competition.
      • Activities will include:
        • Trade Shows and exhibitions – clothing, equipment, accessoriesStanding Wave exhibitions
        • Food and Wine Festival – taking all the successful aspects of an earlier event and making these better
        • Art Shows – photography competitions and art exhibitions
        • Movies – movies screened around the city (indoors and outdoors) including 'Surf City,' Mel Gibson's first ever movie role filmed at Catherine Hill Bay. There could also be a reintroduction of 'Snap Off The Lip' which was originally staged in Newcastle in 2006.
  • Developing a surfer friendly culture in Newcastle’s hospitality offerings
    • For example consideration of access to surfboard appropriate transport at the region’s Williamtown Airport, on Public Transport adn the provision of roof Racks on hire vehicles
    • Developing surf focused accommodation package. 
  • Support for the Merewether National Surfing Reserves’ Local Steering Committee’s initiatives with the potential to see Merewether successfully nominated as a World Surfing Reserve

The World Surf Cities Network has already provided great insights into the global surf industry and tourism markets, and continued participation in this initiative is essential in ensuring current and world’s best practise endeavours are successfully pursued.