TOURISM BOOM: Visitor numbers set a new record

THE North Coast has had a record breaking year on the tourism front, found to be the third most popular tourist destination in the country.

Commenting on the latest release of the National Visitor Survey, the NSW Business Chamber has highlighted the importance that the tourism industry plays in regional economies.

Almost six million overnight visitors holidayed or stayed on the North Coast over the 12 months to March 2019.

That’s a rise of 8% from the previous year.

“This is a fantastic result, and it confirms that tourism is a key industry for current and future jobs growth for this region and NSW,” NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Kellon Beard said.

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CULTURAL TOURISM: Wajaana Yaam Adventure Tours operates stand-up paddleboard trips across the Coffs region.

“In terms of visitor numbers, the North Coast is breaking records – and the fact that the North Coast was the 3rd most popular tourist destination in the country, is something we can be proud of.

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“That’s extraordinary growth and a contribution of about $3½ billion to our region.

“That’s a lot of jobs and a lot of business for our restaurants, cafes, hotels and tourism operators.

As for day trippers we saw about seven million of those over the past 12 months.

“Today’s numbers are a timely reminder as to why it is so important for the government to reboot Restart and ensure regional NSW gets the funds it was promised for infrastructure investment. This investment is critical to supporting regional economies and the continued growth of the tourism industry in this region.

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The North Coast is NSW’s second most popular spot for tourists behind Sydney.

“The visitor economy is thriving, but it’s a competitive space. Without continued investment, it won’t be possible to maintain the attractiveness of our region for tourists.

“NSW is an attractive destination for visitors, and today’s figures show that North Coast is an attractive place. Let’s keep it that way,” Mr Beard said.