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Eurobodalla welcomed an estimated 1.2 million visitors during the last financial year according to the latest Tourism Monitor data extracted from Tourism Research Australia’s national and international visitor surveys.
Leading tourism analyst and destination marketing consultant, Peter Valerio, says the results build on several periods of growth. ‘It would be fair to say that Eurobodalla is on a roll,’ he said this week.
‘This is the fifth consecutive time Eurobodalla has recorded above average visitor numbers and this growth is showing up in the form of increases in market share.’
The strong results are not limited to visitor numbers, Mr Valerio says. He has been monitoring visitation to Eurobodalla for a number of years and during the last financial year, visitors spent in the order of 2.6 million nights in Eurobodalla.
‘Like visitor numbers, the number of nights is part of Eurobodalla’s fifth consecutive above average result. You are now seeing gains in the market share of night stays.’
So what’s behind this good news story? There are a number of factors that influence the destinations people choose to visit, but when you see a run of visitor growth like this in conjunction with market share increases it is more often than not the destination marketing strategy that’s a key driver, Mr Valerio says.
‘Eurobodalla could be said to be riding a growth wave despite the fact the no such wave really exists for Regional NSW. In these areas, there are some modest increases in the year ending June 2014 compared to the previous financial year but there are decreases as well, especially in the domestic market.’
‘With numbers like these elsewhere, Eurobodalla’s performance strongly indicates that Council’s tourism marketing strategy of recent times has been hitting the mark.’
Mr Valerio added that it is critical to stay on course. ‘I encourage Eurobodalla Shire Council to stay focussed, especially on its major domestic source markets.’
The July 2013 to June 2014 data shows the domestic market continues to be Eurobodalla’s main source of visitors. Around 724,000 of the 1.2 million day trippers that stayed overnight in Eurobodalla were domestic. Around 24,000 (3.3 percent) came from overseas.
The number of international visitors that stay overnight in Eurobodalla has not changed significantly for some years but this is not unique to our region. Mr Valerio says slow or zero growth in international visitor numbers is extremely common for local government areas throughout regional Australia and has been the case for many years.
‘Very few regional destinations apart from those close to a capital city or major gateways see anything like the growth that Australia as a whole experiences from international visitors,’ he said. ‘Some international visitors do explore regional Australia but for many it’s simply not on the agenda.’
This is why it is important to stay focussed on key existing source markets – ones that have been delivering visitors to Eurobodalla for many years. Pressure is constantly being applied to regional destinations to reallocate marketing resources and take advantage of visitor booms from certain overseas markets.
‘In the past this pressure has been to focus on countries like Japan and Korea along with India. At the moment it’s China that’s seen as the ‘boom’ market and the boom is louder than ever before,’
Mr Valerio said.
‘The benefits related to the Chinese market vary widely and depend on where you are and also what type of destination you are.’
Eurobodalla Shire Council’s 2015 spring tourism destination marketing campaign is currently underway in Canberra, Sydney and regional NSW and includes social media, digital, print and billboard advertisements. The campaign is run jointly with South Coast Regional Tourism Organisation and Destination NSW.
See full Media Release here…
From its original inhabitants, the Bugelli-Manji tribe, to bushrangers, the Gold Rush and beyond, Moruya has a rich history filled with the colour and romance typical of Australia's early days.