Tathra’s summer season is booming for businesses and there are hopes this will continue through February with the decision to pay for lifeguards on the main beach.
Owner of Tathra Beach House and member of the Tathra Chamber of Commerce executive Rob White said his business had been booked out since Christmas and was looking very busy to the Tathra Wharf to Waves weekend on January 14-15.
He expected occupancy of about 95 cent for January and said this demand was mostly the same as last year’s.
BIG4 Tathra Beach Holiday Park owner Greg McKay echoed this statement, saying this season had been no different to any other.
“The few vacancies we had at the end of January are filling up,” he said.
Tathra Beachside co-owner Carmen Risby said her business was having a bumper season, but unfortunately it had been forced to turn away some tourists as the park was so full.
“We’ve had a record number of families turning up with no booking,” she said.
“We have tried to help them find other accommodation in town, but because everywhere is so full they have to be turned away.”
Ms Risby, who is also the Tathra Chamber’s secretary, said holding the Tathra Wharf to Waves a week earlier this year may have impacted some entrants, as her business had been forced to turn away many families coming to town for the event because the park is already so full that weekend.
In general, she had seen a shift in people coming to town as while there used to be more Victorians than people from NSW it was now even. Mr White also noticed a change in holidaying patterns, saying people were having shorter stays instead of long holidays.
“There are a lot more options for people and we are very conscious it is very cheap to go overseas or on a cruise nowadays,” he said.
He said as surf safety was important to the local businesses, life guards would be sponsored to patrol Tathra Beach during February for the third year.
Mr McKay said it was an important service, especially in light of the 18 drowning deaths that have occurred in NSW so far this summer.
Tathra and Bega Chambers of Commerce, Tathra Beach House, BIG4 Tathra Beach Holiday Park, Tathra Beachside, Bega Valley Motors, Tathra Beach Bowling Club and About Regional raised $14,000 to sponsor the lifeguards.