'Byron Bay effect' brings younger visitors
THE Northern Rivers boasts a stunning and diverse natural environment which the helps attract up to 12 million visitors to the North Coast region every year, but according to demographer Bernard Salt, there is more the Northern Rivers could be doing.
He said the Northern Rivers was attracting a higher percentage of younger visitors aged between 14 and 31, but was falling behind the Australian average for older visitors.
Mr Salt said the Northern Rivers could do more to attract the working age international traveller.
"People who are in the Northern Rivers from overseas are completely dominated by the backpacker market - the peak tourist is 24 years old. It's the Byron Bay effect,” he said.
"There might be scope to increase the overseas visitor market in the 50-60 age group.”
Using Australian Bureau of Statistics data, Mr Salt highlighted the Northern Rivers attracted a much-smaller percentage of visitors aged between 40 and 70 than the Australian average.
Mr Salt said the peak age of tourists in the Northern Rivers was 24 years of age, while the data shows a distinct lack of children aged 0 to 12, meaning there may not be as many families bringing along their children to the region.