Still a popular spot with visitors.
Still a popular spot with visitors.

Visitor survey results released

A PERFECT storm of disaster events is being blamed for a decline in tourism numbers to the Coffs Coast last year.

Figures from the National Visitor Survey and International Visitor Survey by Tourism Research Australia for the last quarter in 2009 show what most of us were expecting – we had less overnight visitors than 2008 – but it’s not all bad news.

In comparison to the same period in 2008, the number of overnight visitors to the region dropped by 11,000 while nights stayed dropped from 3.3 million to 3.1 million.

However day visitors to the region jumped from 960,000 in 2008 to a healthy 1.063 million in 2009 and International visitors also jumped by 1000.

“There would be a number of reasons for the smaller number of overnight visitors in 2009,” Coffs Coast Marketing tourism manager Glenn Caldwell said.

“The severe flooding events, the global financial crisis, people taking shorter trips out of Sydney because of fuel prices and the condition of the Pacific Highway and the well-covered need for new development and experiences in the area to attract visitors.

“But the increase in day visitors and international visitors is positive.”

Mr Caldwell said Coffs Coast Marketing was now on a proactive mission to make sure people looking for a top holiday knew just what the Coffs Coast has to offer.

“We are in the midst of a major marketing campaign partly funded by the State Government’s Flood Recovery grant funds to attract visitors back after the impact of the floods last year – that is the ‘What will you discover on Coffs Coast? campaign.”

As another part of the promotion of the region, Sydney Weekender will be filming two special episodes dedicated to the Coffs Coast this week – first stop, the Big Banana.

Anyone looking to have their face on television should head to the Big Banana today from 2.30pm, where Mike Whitney will be filming.

“We’d love to see heaps of kids and parents come along and be part of the fun,” Mr Caldwell said.

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