By BELINDA SCOTT
COFFS Coast tourism operators have a spring in their step, following a school holiday period which has exceeded expectations.
Coffs Coast tourism marketing manager Rob Cleary said he would not have hard figures for the holiday period for some time but anecdotally it had been positive.
He attributed this to the whole range of activities in the area during the holidays and said the Buskers Festival had been strongly promoted throughout northern NSW and Bellingen's Global Carnival and the NSW BMX Championships had been other events to draw visitors.
He said the Pet Porpoise Pool had been very pleased with trading and there had been strong activity at Sawtell.
"Split Cafe and Barrels Bistro were both very pleased with how the school holidays went.
"They said it was not two weeks of holiday but three."
With Queensland school holidays starting a week earlier than NSW, northern families have taken the opportunity to come south.
Mr Cleary said they had been doing some promotion work in South East Queensland and the move south was 'definitely' assisted by improvements to the Pacific Highway between the Queensland border and the North Coast.
An article in the Sydney Morning Herald's real estate section also recently noted that Coffs Harbour was 'shaking off its daggy image'.