Its raining, but its still a good break
By PATRIZIA REIMER firstname.lastname@example.org
YOU have good years and bad years but even a washed out holiday is still a break for the Segond von Banchets.
And given the weekend forecast for more rain, other families could benefit from such an attitude.
Some of the Toowoomba family have been coming to the Shaws Bay Caravan Park in Ballina for 40 years and say the recent downpours will not stop them coming back.
"It's been equally wet in the past, particularly in the 80s and 70s," said Joanne Segond von Banchet.
"But we still had a holiday, and the good side is it hasn't been too hot so the kids haven't got so sunburnt."
The family packed up to go home yesterday at the end of their planned three-week holiday, and they're not the only ones leaving.
Caravan Park manager Paul Parsons said business has been dramatically down with at least 30 per cent of holidaymakers ending their holiday earlier than planned.
"And we're not getting any walk-ins, we usually get 20 or 30 overnighters," he said. "It's been a pretty bad year all around."
Some areas like Byron Bay and Brunswick Heads have 'weathered' the effects of rain and floods well with tourist numbers remaining strong.
But many are suffering, prompting Northern Rivers Tourism to propose a submission for government disaster relief funding for tourism operators.
It began this week with a survey asking businesses to quantify their loss, the results of which should be known early next week.
"Should we be successful we also need to be communicating to the public that the Northern Rivers is open to business," said Northern Rivers Tourism chief executive Russell Mills.
"Places like the Crystal Castle have been 50 per cent down with business because of the perception that it's part of Lismore and therefore there's no access."