Tourists spend two and a half million nights in the Tweed
TWEED tourism figures are the highest in five years, bringing major economic benefits to the shire.
Destination Tweed said figures for the 12 months to March this year show that overall visitor numbers have risen by an estimated 10% and visitors are staying 35% longer.
Almost 570,000 overnight visitors spent close to 2.5 million nights in the area, contributing an estimated $430 million to the Tweed economy.
"This is fantastic news, not just for our tourism operators but for the entire Tweed economy," Destination Tweed CEO Bill Tatchell said.
"When you combine these estimates with average expenditure figures for the wider region, the tourism sector has contributed somewhere in the order of $430 million to the local economy during the year to March 2013, making it one of the Tweed's most significant business sectors.
"These results are particularly remarkable when you consider that the Tweed was cut off by storms and floodwaters in late January and February, and that our key tourist attraction Wollumbin Mt Warning has been closed since Australia Day."
Mr Tatchell said if Tweed had missed the weather events earlier this year, it is likely there would be a new record for overnight visitors.
The surge in tourism has been led by domestic visitors, with approximately 50,000 more Australians spending a night, and 90,000 more day visitors than the previous year.
And to put the icing on the cake, overnight visitors are staying in the Tweed longer.
Mr Tatchell said Destination Tweed had been reconnecting with markets.