10% Growth In Local Visitor Economy Over Past Two Years

The Macleay Valley Coast’s visitor economy has grown by almost 10% in the past two-year period according to the latest September 2013 Local Government Area profile, rising from $173M to $189M.

The latest figures from Tourism Research Australia’s International Visitor Survey and National Visitor Surveys show the total number of day and overnight visitors to the Macleay has risen from 489,000 to 554,000.

The largest growth has been seen in the number of day visitors, most of whom travel from the immediate North Coast region of NSW, which has risen 18.5 per cent from 233,000 to 276,000 in the two-year period to September 2013.

Research indicates that day visitors are now contributing $31M to the local economy, with overall spend increased by $3M compared to two years ago.

Significant growth has also been experienced in the overnight visitor market to the Valley, rising 8.9%, from 247,000 in 2011 to 269,000 for the year ended September 2013. Average spend per overnight visitor is also up $7, taking the 2013 figure to $577.

This average spend figure for the Kempsey Local Government Area remains higher than the NSW average of $569 adding $14M to this market, which is now estimated to contribute $155M to the local economy each year.

International visitor numbers to the Macleay has grown by 2.1%, with approximately 9000 visitors travelling to the area from overseas each year. These visitors are staying in the area longer, with the average length of stay increasing from 5.1 to 5.3 visitor nights, taking the total number of visitor nights to 49,000.

A slight 0.7% decline in the total number of visitor nights to 1,095,000, and the average length of stay down from 4.5 to 4.1, is attributed to the artificial inflation of worker accommodation as a direct result of the Pacific Highway bypass construction. The average however, remains higher than the NSW average of 3.4 nights.

Holiday-makers make up the largest proportion of visitors to the area, followed by Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) with eating out at local restaurants, going to the beach, visiting friends and relatives and general sight-seeing being nominated as the most popular activities.

Kempsey Shire Council’s Manager, Economic Sustainability Susannah Smith said the latest statistics were very good news for the local economy. “Council has been working very closely with industry and the Macleay Valley Coast Tourism Association to be more proactive in our tourism marketing,” she said.

“This is partly due to us recognising the importance of marketing as part of our Pacific Highway bypass strategy, but is also a strategic commitment to growing this sector of our economy.

“All levels of government, including Federal, State and Local, understand and wish to capitalise upon the growth potential of this sector working closely with our industry partners.”

SNAPSHOT

Key Measures – Kempsey NSW

Comparison of the LGA Profile – Kempsey 2013* V LGA Profile – Kempsey 2011**

Summary Overall Visitor Economy

Total Visitors (overnight and domestic daytrips)

554, 000 up from 489, 000 visitors

Total Overnight Visitors

278 000 up from 247,000 visitors

Total Nights

1,143, 000 down from 1,151, 000 nights

Total Spend (overnight and domestic daytrip) ($ Million)

$189 million up from $173 million, representing an increase of $16 million

MEDIA INFORMATION

Kempsey Shire Council,

Media Unit 0478 318 770