Families cut costs and holiday closer to home

ADAPT or perish.

That's the message from a new NRMA survey that has found Coffs Coast tourism must change its ways if it is to survive in a time when high petrol prices are forcing families to holiday closer to home and spend less.

The NRMA survey found petrol prices were rated by 54 per cent of respondents as having the greatest impact on holiday plans.

The survey found almost two-thirds of the public planned to holiday closer to home, with 61 per cent cutting up to $500 from their holiday budget.

NRMA Director Wendy Machin said the survey identified a clear challenge for the tourism industry.

“We knew that petrol prices were impacting on the tourism industry but nobody expected the traditional Australian family holiday to have changed so much,” Ms Machin said.

“The decision by families to slash their spending and to holiday closer to home means an urgent campaign is needed to boost north coast tourism.”

The survey also found rising fuel prices was having a detrimental effect on tourist destinations, with 74 per cent reporting a drop in revenue.

More than half said if fuel prices were not addressed, the long-term future of their business would be in jeopardy.

“No part of the economy is immune from the negative effects of rising petrol costs,” Ms Machin said.

“If ever we needed a motivation to end Australia's dependence on foreign oil and transform Australia's transport energy future once and for all, this is it.”

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