THIRD MOST POPULAR: The North Coast enticed more than 6 million overnight visitors, and 7 million day visitors over the past year up to March 2019.
THIRD MOST POPULAR: The North Coast enticed more than 6 million overnight visitors, and 7 million day visitors over the past year up to March 2019. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Record-breaking visitor numbers create jobs, boost business

WHILE we know that we live in a beautiful part of the world, visitors are starting to realise that too.

The Australian Government this week released the results of the annual National Visitor Survey, which showed the North Coast was the third most popular tourist destination.

NSW Business Chamber said this highlights the importance of the tourism industry to regional economies.

NSW Business Chamber Northern Rivers regional manager, Jane Laverty, said the North Coast has been breaking tourism records recently, enticing more than six million visitors to the region during the course of the year.

"This is a fantastic result, and confirms that tourism is a key industry for current and future jobs growth for the Northern Rivers and NSW,” Mrs Laverty said.

"In terms of visitor numbers, the North Coast is breaking records - and the fact that we were third most popular tourist destination in the country, is something we can be proud of.”

Mrs Laverty said nearly six million overnight visitors came to the North Coast over the year to March 2019, an increase of more than 8 per cent from the previous year.

"That's extraordinary growth and a contribution of about $3.5 billion to our region,” she said.

"That's a lot of jobs and a lot of business for our restaurants, cafes, hotels and tourism operators.”

She said there were seven million day visitors over the last year, which also confirms the attractiveness of the North Coast as a premier tourist destination.

"Today's numbers are a timely reminder as to why it is so important for the government to reboot Restart NSW and ensure the regions get the funds promised for infrastructure investment,” she said.

Mrs Laverty said this investment is critical to supporting regional economies and the continued growth of the tourism industry sustainably in this region.

"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 and do this in harmony with our regional communities,” she said.

"NSW is an attractive destination for visitors, and today's figures show that our North Coast is one of the state's best. It's important we keep it that way”.