TOURISM on the Coffs Coast is surging back from a slow start to the year, with operators reporting strong visitor numbers over the school holidays.
Darlington Beach Holiday Park marketing manager, Graeme Solomon, said the park drew in hundreds of new visitors over the school holidays.
“We found that 90 per cent of people who came through were first-time visitors averaging a stay of 3.5 nights,” Mr Solomon said.
“This is not just a stopover but a chance for these new visitors to embrace the whole of the Coffs Coast and really take advantage of everything we have to offer.”
A spokesman for the Big Banana said school holiday visitors to the attraction were up 10 per cent on last year.
“People are holidaying closer to home, with those people who would have normally gone away staying closer and enjoying local attractions,” the spokesman said.
The Pet Porpoise Pool had almost 1000 more visitors these school holidays than last year, according to chief executive officer Paige Sinclair.
“The weather was with us, and even though it looked like another rainy holidays at the start, thankfully it held off,” Ms Sinclair said.
“Our visitor numbers were up by 14 per cent, with almost 960 more through the gates than the same time last year.”
Coffs Coast Marketing manager, Rob Cleary, said while the second week of the school holidays was soft, operators reported good numbers for the first week.
“Some attractions reported an increase in the first week, since people tend to holiday more in the first than the second week,” Mr Cleary said.
“Operators are pleased with the continued buoyancy and everyone's out there fighting for a share of the business.”
Mr Cleary said the recent Sydney Weekender special on the Coffs Coast has helped raise the profile of the region.
“NSW represents 70 per cent of our visitors, and with the Weekender broadcast across the State, we've really reminded people of what the Coffs Coast has to offer,” he said.