Strategic approach to growing tourism
TOURISM is one of the most important contributors to the growth and character of the Coffs Coast region.
The annual economic contribution of the industry to the region is valued at about $490 million and it is estimated the Coffs Harbour LGA receives 1.6 million visitors annually.
Growing the Coffs Coast as a tourist destination into the future is a key focus for the Destination Coffs Coast Committee, which was formed in July 2015.
The committee is made up of tourism industry operators from Coffs Harbour and Bellingen, as well as councillors and staff from both local councils.
In May 2016 the Coffs Coast Tourism Strategic Plan 2020 was adopted, with a focus on attracting more visitors, having them stay in the region longer, spend more locally and stay in localities right across the region.
The plan states that, given the significance of tourism to the Coffs Coast economy and the competitiveness of tourism in regional Australia, it is important that tourism is not only maintained and strengthened as an economic driver but also planned and managed in a sustainable way to enhance and conserve the natural environment, protect the well-being of residents and attract visitors with shared values.
As a result, a key element of the plan is to tap into the potential of the region's unique environmental attractions as a draw card for visitors.
This was the goal of the successful "Create Your Paradise” advertising campaign, which included an award-winning video.
Statistics reveal that traffic to the www.coffscoast.com.au website increased by 40% as a result of the campaign, which was featured on TV in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, as well as on train station billboards.
That kind of result makes it clear that working collaboratively with the industry sector through the Destination Coffs Coast Committee is already paying dividends for the region's economy.