Iain Mc Cabe from Ballina is getting ready his yacht charter business ready for the new tourist season.
Iain Mc Cabe from Ballina is getting ready his yacht charter business ready for the new tourist season. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Will tourist site click?

TOURISM operators hope that the Destination NSW's new website Visit NSW will bring an influx of tourists keen to spend spring holidays in the region.

Iain McCabe from Baysail Sailing School and Yacht Charter is hoping that the site will help overcome some of the bad press the Northern Rivers region copped after the recent floods.

"Floods are just a natural part of the cycle in this beautiful region," he said.

"When conditions are fair we sail three or four times a week and sometimes up to two or three times a day for whale watching trips."

NSW Minister for Tourism, George Souris, said the campaign and website offered a great range of deals for families in destinations throughout the state.

"It's important for tourism businesses in regional NSW, many of which are small, family-owned or family-run operations, to have a resource like Destination NSW to generate interest during spring," he said.

"This spring we are encouraging people to get out and explore the variety of holiday experiences available in NSW."

Chairman at Northern Rivers Tourism Incorporated Cameron Arnold said the new site was a work in progress, but it was excellent for Byron Bay and the region.

"Byron Bay is listed as a key destination and it's our job to draw visitors into the region and disperse them throughout the region," he said.

"Northern Rivers Tourism recently hosted the Director of Marketing and Director of NSW Tourism."

"They met with key tourism stake- holders on the Northern Rivers and we set out to confirm our share of the $15.3 regional tourism budget and how it can be best spent in attaining our goal of doubling tourism expenditure in the region by 2020."

The new campaign builds on a similar 2010 spring holiday campaign that saw almost 25,000 visits to the website, generating more than 1,700 business leads to the industry.

In the year ending March 2011, regional New South Wales received 49 million visitors who spent 69 million nights in the regions, and injected $11.8 billion into the regional NSW economy.


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