All-weather holiday fun as tourists flock to the region
WHEN Laidley local Tricia Acworth began planning her family holiday, wet-weather alternatives were a strong factor in her decision.
"We were a little bit worried that we might get some storms but so far it's been pretty good," she said.
Keeping the kids occupied was also a concern.
But after researching holiday destinations online, Ms Acworth settled on Ballina Lakeside Holiday Park for her family vacation.
"Looking at it on the internet, the resort seemed really nice for the kids; plenty to do.
"It's also nice and quiet and friendly, and a very good place for families to go."
Ballina Lakeside Holiday Park manager, Gerald Searle, says advertising plenty of activities, as well as wet-weather alternatives online has boosted visitor numbers significantly in the past year.
"We've worked fairly hard on improving our social media presence, and there we've talked a lot about the weather proofing of Ballina Lakeside because Ballina can have all sorts of weather," he said.
Mr Searle attributes the park's rapid increase in bookings - almost double last year's numbers - to its new-found marketing focus on wet-weather activities.
"Referring to our cinema, indoor children's play ground, games and TV room, I think, helps people make a decision early, because there is resistance to do it in case the weather is bad," he said.
Dave Heggie, the creator of the Northern Rivers tourism website Summerland Coast NSW, said this season's bookings have been strong across the region.
"Bookings are pretty solid right across the whole region," Mr Heggie said.
"It all depends on the weather.
Mr Heggie said his tourism website is receiving more than 1000 visitors a day, with the most popular places being Byron Bay, Yamba and Lennox Head.
He said floods and storm reports in previous years had deterred some visitors from holidaying in the region.
"Lots of people will make their decision on long term weather forecasts," he said.