Coffs Coast makes best of surge in regional tourism boom
THE COFFS Coast has reached its peak tourist season in a year where the region is celebrating significant growth in domestic and international visitors.
North Coast Destination Network executive officer Belinda Novicky is looking to further substantial increases in 2015.
"The North Coast retained its position as the third most popular domestic tourism destination in Australia after Sydney and Melbourne according to Tourism Research Australia statistics for the year ended September 2014", she said.
"Domestic visitors to our region increased to 4.6 million, an increase of 3.2% on the same period last year.
"Visitor nights were up by 8.6% to 18.8 million and total expenditure by those visitors increased 6.2% to $2.6 billion."
At the same time international visitor expenditure in the region increased 18.6% to $168 million.
International visitor numbers were up 7.1% to 271,600 and visitor nights kept pace with an increase of 7.8% to 3.1 million.
"These are sensational results," Ms Novicky said.
"It reflects our commitment to continue building visitors numbers through our key brand, The Legendary Pacific Coast and the shared commitment of our industry partners from the Great Lakes to the Tweed.
"Our challenge for the year ahead is to retain that growth and most importantly to increase the overnight expenditure in our region.
"This can be best achieved by promoting more attractions, activities, special interest trails, drives and tours across the coast encouraging visitors to visit multiple destinations, discover new experiences, stay longer and spend more.
"At the same time we believe international tourism numbers will increase in line with the lower Australian dollar now at a new four-and-a-half year low."
The Legendary Pacific Coast's ongoing international marketing program kicks off 2015 with a sales mission to North America in February.