Tourism numbers spike in the Clarence Valley
THE secret is out: the Clarence Valley is a tourist hotspot, and it has the numbers to prove it, after the region recorded its highest tourist numbers in history during 2018.
An estimated 1.3 million visitors visited the Clarence Valley last year, and Tourism Research Australia figures show a 22 per cent increase in international, domestic and day visitors from 2017 to 2018. These results have continued an impressive increase over the past three years, and Clarence Valley Council destination management officer, Lou Gumb, said the word was getting out that the Clarence Valley region boasted some of the finest scenery, adventure and nature-based experiences that Australia had to offer.
"The Clarence Valley offers a diverse array of quality and unique offerings," she said.
Council's economic development manager, Elizabeth Fairweather, said Tourism Research Australia's figures showed a big turn around after a steady decline in tourism numbers over the past 10 years.
"We hit the lowest point in 2014 when 857,000 visitors were recorded as coming to the area," she said.
"But here we are at the end of 2018 with a whopping 52 per cent increase on this in a relatively short space of time."
Ms Gumb said there had been a multifaceted approach that included working with the local tourism industry, government bodies including Destination NSW and Tourism Australia, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Crown Lands and the Forestry Corporation.
"We are working to attract visitors and to create an atmosphere that encourages people to stay longer, spend more and return year after year because they have had such a wonderful time in our very special part of the world," she said.
"You only have to look at our @myclarencevalley on social media to see how many people have already fallen in love with the area and can't wait to come back. Even those who have not yet visited the Clarence Valley are fast realising the Clarence Valley should be on their to-do list."
Mayor Jim Simmons said the impressive numbers were charging the region's economy, generating jobs and driving investment in local communities as tourists chose to visit the Clarence Valley.
"The results speak to the broad appeal of the Clarence Valley region," he said.
Want to know more about visiting the Clarence Valley? Head to www.myclarencevalley.com