More stay here than Byron Bay
COFFS Harbour has featured on a top 20 list of national travel destinations, compiled by leading accommodation website Wotif.com.
The city rated 17th among the top holiday spots for 2010, edging out Byron Bay, but standing in the shadows of Port Macquarie.
Sydney maintained its position in top spot, followed by Melbourne, Adelaide, the Gold Coast and Brisbane.
Coffs Coast Tourism Association chairman George Cecato said on one hand, the result was great news for Coffs Harbour but on the other it showed the region needs increasing exposure to stay competitive.
“I am pleased we are in the top 20, but I’m not so happy we are so far below other centres,” Mr Cecato said.
In his opinion, he said Coffs Harbour had the potential to crack the top 10 alongside Cairns, Canberra and Hobart.
“Our standing at 17th shows as a destination we are lagging behind other cities, namely the Sunshine Coast and Port Macquarie, which have introduced a tourism levy to better fund advertising and marketing.
“When the tourism association presented to council the tourism levy proposal in 2009, it was met with non-approval, and consideration was given to other projects, but now we are paying the price.”
The tourism association has requested the council reassess the tourism levy proposal in 2011.
“Last year Coffs Harbour recorded an 18 per cent decrease in visitor rates, compared with Port Macquarie which recorded positive growth.”
Top 20 destinations
Most popular destinations last year according to Wotif.com bookings 2010.
3. Gold Coast
7. Sunshine Coast
14. Launceston and Tamar Valley
15. Port Douglas
16. Port Macquarie
17. COFFS HARBOUR
18. Byron Bay
20. Airlie Beach