The Newcastle Shop offers one-stop visitor services over summer
A new pop-up retail business run by Newcastle City Council is offering a central location for visitor services in Honeysuckle during the city's peak tourism and event season.
Located in the former café space within Newcastle Museum, The Newcastle Shop is a place for visitors to find out where to go in Newcastle, buy a souvenir or have a cup of coffee, and sit comfortably while using free Wi-Fi to research things to do in Newcastle and the surrounding region. Sprocket Roasters, Newcastle's innovative, carbon conscious and award-winning coffee, is a fitting feature of the new shop.
Opened in November, the shop will continue to operate through to 31 March 2018 in order to provide visitor services throughout the busy summer season.
In addition to supporting tourism and event promotion, The Newcastle Shop is also serving as the head office for the NEW Crew volunteers, the city's team of specialist visitor guides who promote Newcastle as a leading tourist destination. The strategy is for the shop to enable Council to better capitalise on events, maximise the visitor experience, and promote return visitation.
"Council's research has identified that there are 360,000 visitors who travel to Newcastle for events annually and 1.3 million people visit the region for the purposes of visiting friends and relatives," said Council's interim CEO Jeremy Bath.
"For this reason, The Newcastle Shop is targeted to both the local and inbound visitor market."
The five-month trial period for The Newcastle Shop will provide data upon which a decision can be made as to whether to make the concept a permanent part of the Museum. Feature events that will be supported during the trial period includes, Celebration of Cricket, Formula Powerboats, Surfest and the Australian Boardriders Battle.
The shop also supports visitors to the Newcastle Museum's major summer exhibitions Dinosaur rEVOLUTION and Spiders Alive & Deadly, and cruise ship visits from December through March.
The Newcastle Shop offers locally themed merchandise, stocking retail products that are either about Newcastle or crafted by Newcastle makers.