Shoalhaven eclipses Byron Bay for visitor numbers

POPULAR PLACE: The stream of visitors returning home on Easter Monday reflects the Shoalhaven's growth in visitor numbers.

POPULAR PLACE: The stream of visitors returning home on Easter Monday reflects the Shoalhaven's growth in visitor numbers.

It’s official: the Shoalhaven is the most popular national destination after Sydney, beating the North Coast and Manly.

Data from Tourism Research Australia’s National and International Visitor Surveys show that in 2016 the Shoalhaven is now the most visited local government area outside of Sydney City LGA.

In 2016 3.34 million people visited the region -a year on year increase of almost 19 per cent. The Shoalhaven welcomed more visitors than other popular destinations such as Byron Bay, Port Stephens and Manly just to name a few. 

Off the back of strong economic conditions for domestic overnight holidays, the latest figures for the Shoalhaven are at an all-time high. The growth has been attributed in part to Shoalhaven Tourism’s marketing efforts marketing the region, including the Unspoilt Campaign with Destination NSW; food, wine and adventure marketing; Surfing Shoalhaven; a new Visitor Guide campaign; and development of an event support strategy.

The Shoalhaven hosted 1.45 million domestic overnight visitors in 2016 – an increase of 8 per cent year on year.  These visitors accounted for 4.5 million visitor nights during the year. 

The average length of stay increased to 3.1 nights.

There were 1.85 million domestic day visitors in the year ending December 2016, a 29 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. On an international level, there were 43,300 overnight visitors to the region - a solid increase on 2015.

“Being the most visited Local Government Area in New South Wales outside Sydney City Council is a huge achievement, “ said Shoalhaven Tourism Manager Coralie Bell.

“These figures coincide with the increased investment from council in brand, marketing and events strategies, all with a focus on off-season and sustainable growth tactics.”

“The Shoalhaven is experiencing exciting growth in visitation that supports a huge diversity of businesses throughout the region,” said Shoalhaven Tourism Advisory Group chairperson Lynn Locke.

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