Tourism website caters for visitors and industry

NORTHERN Rivers Tourism has launched a new website to appeal to both visitors and the regional tourism industry.

The tourism board's chief executive officer, Russell Mills, said that worked on two levels, servicing the general public and - through a membership payment of $1 a day - providing business with various benefits. These included a monthly newsletter with information pertinent to boosting visitor numbers.

“With premium membership, tourism operators will have access to marketing and publicity opportunities, trade and media familiarisations, workshops and marketing intelligence,” he said.

Mr Mills said the area from the Clarence to the Tweed and west to Kyogle was blessed with what travellers expected.

“[There's] choice in accommodation, tours, restaurants and activities. But to compete you need to offer unique experiences,” he said. “Through our lively editorial, our site communicates that.”

The website offers a snapshot of Northern Rivers attractions, including its thriving market culture, scenery and cultural and artistic events.

Mr Mills conceded that the past year had not been great for tourism, because of floods, rising petrol prices and increasing household debt.

Figures for the 12 months to March showed the variations in different visitor populations. The Northern Rivers received more than 2.7 million day trippers – up 3.4 per cent on the previous year. Domestic overnight traveller numbers were down by 1.4 per cent to 1.8 million, but international overnight travel went up by 6.5 per cent to 228,600.

“There are many challenges ahead for tourism, but there are also great opportunities. A website may not change the world, but it can help change the way the world sees us,” said Mr Mills.

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