Port Stephens chases MICE business

Major upgrades at two well-known resorts in Port Stephens – The Anchorage and Shoal Bay Resort & Spa – have been designed to attract more conference delegates and corporate visitors to the seaside properties, 2½ hours north of Sydney.

Representatives from The Anchorage, Shoal Bay Resort & Spa and MICE Port Stephens showcased the region to the MICE market at AIME in Melbourne last week.

A new-look convention and business centre at The Anchorage, overlooking the blue, dolphin-filled waters of Port Stephens, will be officially opened in October, 2014, with 180° water views, the latest in AV technology, free wi-fi and a ‘business breather’ zone overlooking the resort’s own marina. Accommodation at the premium, boutique resort, which was recently purchased by the Newcastle-based Wests Group, is also being refurbished as part of a bid by the new owners to boost business tourism to the property and the Port Stephens region.

Meanwhile, the deluxe, 200-room Shoal Bay Resort & Spa – the biggest combined accommodation and conference facility in Port Stephens – has revealed a new-look spa complex and introduced stand up paddle boarding and Master Cook kitchen challenges to encourage team-building and further engage the meetings market.

The spa centre at the resort has been completely rebranded and upgraded as the stylish Lattouf Hair & Day Spa, with the property becoming the 12th spa facility in Australia to partner with the popular Lattouf Hair & Day Spa brand. Shoal Bay Resort & Spa is inviting conference and event organisers to treat their guests to one of the spa’s new relaxation and rejuvenation treatments. Stand up paddle board hire has also debuted at the resort for more active delegates while groups can let off some steam as part of the resort’s new Master Cook Challenge, a cooking contest that pitches teams against each other for prizes, with all delegates enjoying their culinary creations at the end of the challenge.

MICE Port Stephens manager, Rebecca Morley, who attended AIME with The Anchorage and Shoal Bay Resort & Spa, said the enhancements at both resorts would help Port Stephens attract more MICE visitors seeking the perfect mix of business and pleasure. “Port Stephens is not your regular run-of-the-mill area,” Ms Morley said. “We offer so much more than a room – there’s fun, adventure, indulgence, spectacular scenery, wildlife and fresh sea air which all help make an event here one to relish and remember,” she said.

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