Coffs Harbour among the most searched travel sites

THE Coffs Coast shoreline promises to be bustling with rugged-up visitors as travellers make the most of the long weekend weather.

Accommodation and travel website has found Coffs Harbour to be one of the most-searched towns in regional New South Wales in the long weekend lead-up.

Along with Wollongong, Orange, Dubbo and Albury, Coffs Harbour was one of only five regional areas to receive triple-digit percentage increases in interest, compared to the average 2015 weekend.

An Expedia study found one in four Australians were travelling domestically over the Queen's Birthday weekend to spend time with friends, with 15% opting for a regional break and a further 13% booking escapes to the city.

Expedia travel expert Kelly Cull said young people aged 18-34 were most likely to head to the city, with 29% planning to take a break in their own city and a further 15% going interstate.

"We know Aussies are becoming more conscious of the benefits of taking a break, even for a couple of days, with short breaks booked on up more than 40% in the last two years," she said.

Coffs Coast Tourism Association president and Novotel Pacific Bay Resort manager Dene Zahner said visitor numbers were well up on last year's figures.

"The Queen's Birthday weekend is never usually a busy one for us," he said.

"But we have a lot of business conferences coming in over the weekend at Novotel, which have really been helping us this year.

"We also have a lot of families coming to town for the Coffs Harbour Eisteddfod this weekend.

"I don't think our hotels are 100% full but they are not far from it - it's a mixture of business visitors and tourists.

"Either way, it is definitely busier than last year."

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