Tourism figures show the short stay market on the Far South Coast growing.
Figures for the January-March 2014 quarter have been published by Destination NSW.
The South Coast of NSW – taking in Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama, Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and the Bega Valley – received almost 3.3million domestic overnight visitors, up by 5.7 per cent, and visitors spent over 11.3million nights in the region, up by 3 per cent.
Domestic day trip visitors were down by 2.6 per cent, with 5.7million.
However, tourism and marketing manager from Sapphire Coast Tourism Anthony Osbourne said figures for the Far South Coast have both overnight and day stays up.
“We analyse the South Coast figures and look at the data relevant to the Bega Valley.
“What is shows us is growth for a fifth consecutive quarter, as well as both domestic day trips and overnight stays up.
“We’ve also seen a 33 per cent growth in international visitors from March 2013 quarter figures,” he said.
However, the greatest success has been in the short-stay market.
“We put a focus on marketing to people in the ACT and regional NSW, people within four hours of the Valley, and encouraging them to come on a short break.
"In that market we've focused on what is unique about the Valley – the beautiful environment, wilderness experiences and the pristine coast.
“It’s paying off because we’ve seen a huge upswing in short-stay tourism and off-peak visitors.”
Mr Osbourne said a general rebound in domestic tourism has also helped numbers.
“The Melbourne market coming to coastal spots here is really picking up again,” he said.
The total visitors to the South Coast region was 9.1million, and the total expenditure of these visitors $2.1billion, which had increased $100million from last year.