Big-spending tourists have North Coast on radar

THE North Coast is rising in popularity as a big-spending tourism hot spot, with 69,000 more Australians wanting to visit the region than last year.

A Roy Morgan survey has revealed 3.1 million travellers would like to visit the North Coast this year - and they are prepared to splurge.

About 28% of respondents said they spent more than $200 a night on their last holiday, just ahead of the 27% wanting to spend the same to see Sydney.

Coldstream St, Yamba was abuzz on Saturday morning as thousands converged into the CBD for 21st Yamba Rod Run. View here from the top deck of the Yamba YHA Backpackers. Photo Terry Deefholts / The Daily Examiner
Coldstream St, Yamba was abuzz on Saturday morning as thousands converged into the CBD for 21st Yamba Rod Run. View here from the top deck of the Yamba YHA Backpackers. Photo Terry Deefholts / The Daily Examiner Terry Deefholts

Only Southern NSW fared better in the expenditure stakes, with 35.2% of would-be visitors likely to break the $200 a night threshold.

The North Coast was the state's second favourite travel destination behind only Sydney, with 3.16 million holidaymakers wanting to visit the New South Wales capital and its surrounding areas.

Two-fifths of respondents said NSW was their preferred holiday location, putting it ahead of any other state or territory in terms of popularity.

Roy Morgan Research group account director Angela Smith said the results boded well for Destination NSW's current push to promote tourism to regional areas through the creation of six new major regional tourism boards.

"Destination NSW's new destination networks have been developed to grow the state's regional tourism sector, attracting more visitors and thereby increasing economic activity throughout NSW," Ms Smith said.

"And the future looks bright: Roy Morgan Research data shows that more Australians are keen to visit most of these regions than they were this time last year.

"Of course, big-spending visitors are particularly valuable for regional economies... the data from Roy Morgan's Holiday Tracking Study shows that some destination networks are especially likely to appeal to this kind of traveller.

"Furthermore, our data makes it possible for tourism operators and destination marketers to pinpoint even more precisely the chances of their region attracting these high-yield visitors and also whether these visitors are more likely to be from (NSW) or interstate.

"For example, 35.2% of NSW residents who'd like to visit Southern NSW in the near future spent $200-plus per person per night on their last holiday compared with 25.5% of holiday-goers from elsewhere in Australia with a preference for the region.

"This would suggest that industry players in Southern NSW would be wise to develop intrastate-specific marketing campaigns for maximum return." -ARM NEWSDESK


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