Best of Coffs Coast on show
By MEL MARTIN
ROB Cleary hopes Network Seven's Sydney Weekender dedicating an entire show to the region will do wonders to bring in more tourist dollars.
The Sydney Weekender team is spending this week filming some of the Coffs Coast's attractions, and close to 400,000 people will be watching Coffs Harbour when the show airs later this month.
Mr Cleary said this was part of an ongoing program to promote the region to its strongest tourism market.
"Being on Sydney Weekender allows us the opportunity to showcase the diversity of the Coffs Coast," the marketing manager for Coffs Coast Marketing said.
"Sydney and New South Wales is our major market, and the show has a following of 300,000 to 400,000 people, so we're accessing a large section of our primary market."
Although Mr Cleary stopped short of disclosing the amount paid for Sydney Weekender to put the spotlight on Coffs Harbour, he said the show would promote a good cross-section of activities the region had to offer.
"We've tried to promote the Buskers' Festival, as well as the year-round activities we have."
The show will feature the Pet Porpoise Pool, the Raleigh International Raceway, dining on the Promenade and at the Jetty Strip, the Glenreagh Rail Museum, kayaking, surfing and who would have thought, the Big Banana.
And Sydney Weekender host, Mike Whitney, a regular to Coffs Harbour, says he has had a ball doing the show.
"This is one of the most beautiful places in the world," he said.
"I used to come up here for holidays when I was about six or seven, and I hope to move up around here (North Coast) at some stage to kick up my heels.
"But not yet, I love doing the show."
And its simplicity has a lot to do with that, with Mr Whitney demonstrating the 'hair, make-up and wardrobe' routine with a quick hand through his hair, rub of his eyes, and wipe of his forehead.
"In a strange way, that's the way we love it. We have such a great team. We only need to do every segment once or twice."
Mind you, that's after 11 years and 470 shows of practice.
But even after all this time, Mr Whitney plans to remain on our screens for some time yet.
"Tourism is such an expanding and flourishing industry. As places close, others open, and there are still places in NSW where I haven't been which I'm looking forward to seeing."
The Sydney Weekender Coffs Harbour special will air on Prime on Saturday, August 27, at 5.30pm.