Coffs Coast cashes in on tourism boom
DOMESTIC and international visitors have made their choice and reaffirmed NSW as Australia's premier tourism state.
From Destination NSW's perspective the latest independent survey results show that our region welcomed 5.6 million domestic tourists and 353,700 international travelers in the year to September, 2018.
NSW's domestic visitor spend was found to have generated $20.4-billion over the 12-month period while the North Coast received an estimated $3.458-billion return.
Domestic visitors to the Mid North Coast spent $3.5 billion during their stay, which is an increase of 16.1 per cent on the previous year.
"This means more heads on beds, people in restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops, spending money and driving our local visitor economy," Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey MP said.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said NSW is in a 'golden era'.
"These impressive numbers are turbocharging our economy, generating jobs and driving investment in local communities," Mr Marshall said.
"Internationally, NSW received 4.3 million visitors who stayed 95.5 million nights and spent $10.6 billion.
"Domestically, we welcomed 33.6 million overnight visitors who stayed 105.1 million nights and for the first time ever, these visitors spent more than $20 billion."
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan welcomed the increase in vistation for the North Coast with the latest International Visitor Survey showing 5,569,000 domestic and 354,000 international visitors holidayed in the region in the 12-months to September.
"That's an increase of 7% and 3% respectively from the same period in the previous year," Mr Hogan said.
"That makes us the most popular destination for both domestic and international tourists in NSW outside of Sydney and one of the most popular regional destinations in the country.
"This is a testament to our local tourism operators and means more people in local restaurants, staying in local hotels and visiting local tourist attractions.
"Every dollar spent in our local businesses helps to maintain and create local jobs, and strengthens our local economy."
Coffs Harbour City Council's Sector Leader Industry and Destination Development Fiona Barden said there were strong indications from local accommodation providers of solid summer holiday bookings across the Coffs Coast.
"Without doubt it has been a busy period with lots of visitors frequenting our attractions and larger resorts. Just by driving along the highway daily you can still spot no vacancy signs up," Mrs Barden said.
"It has been one of our busiest summers in talking with local operators."
"Coffs Harbour's primary visitor market is the 25 to 44 year-old age bracket, confirming Coffs as a tourist destination certainly remains popular for family holidays..
"Tourism statistics continue to show increases in our visitor numbers. The next release of statistics will be important showing visitation over this the peak holiday time, which generally has increased year on year.
Internationally speaking, the Coffs Coast remains popular for New Zealand, British, American, German and Indian holidaymakers.
Domestic visitors to Coffs Harbour spent an estimated average of 3.2 nights in town while international tourists tend to spend on average 8.1 nights on the coast.