Recovery begins as bookings soar for Tweed tourism operators
AS NSW residents now have the freedom to travel throughout the state, Tweed tourism operators are also seeing an increase of people booking a few nights to holiday at home.
As Hasting Point's North Star Holiday Resort marketing manager Lisa Collier explained in the three days after the announcement of easing of coronavirus restrictions, the resort took more than 500 room nights and saw a 200 per cent increase in website traffic.
"In the past week we have seen a handful of bookings coming from our local area," she said.
"It just shows people are keen for a change of scenery after being cooped up inside over the last eight weeks or so."
Ms Collier said the past few months had been "tough" but the business had used the time to ensure "our resort will be looking its very best" and to "put in place a range of measures so there is total peace of mind when guest book their first post-iso holiday with us".
The Tweed Tourism Company's general manager Brad Nardi said the state travel changes meant the flow on effects for the Tweed included not just accommodation centres but all tourism operators from eateries to retail.
Mr Nardi explained this latest step on the way to economic recovery from the pandemic had accommodation venues and tourism operators in the region eagerly awaiting the re-opening of the Queensland border.
Many businesses, like North Star Holiday Resort have traditionally had a significant chunk of customers come from South East Queensland.
Following the Tweed's lead with our 'Love the Tweed' campaign, a major campaign to kickstart NSW tourism launched on Monday as the Berejiklian government makes a play for the $16 billion the state's residents normally spend travelling overseas.
The advertising blitz includes a new television commercial telling holiday-makers: "So you can't travel the world right now, so what."
NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said with the travel and hospitality industry hardest hit by COVID-19, those planning a trip should "forget that overseas escape" and explore their own backyard.
"Not only has it never been a better time to travel around regional NSW, there's probably never been a more important time to holiday at home," he said.
"At the end of the day, the single biggest beneficiary is getting people back into work."
The Now's The Time to Love NSW campaign will target NSW, Victoria and the ACT with plans to roll it out nationally when other states' border restrictions are lifted.
To run throughout June and July, the campaign - initially created to help drought and bushfire-devastated communities but now rebooted for coronavirus - includes new social media videos and a dedicated web page showing travellers how to make the most of the 213 days left in 2020.
Ms Collier said the Tweed was "truly blessed with what is in our own backyard and you do not have to travel far when living here to feel like you are on holiday".
"For any locals looking for a staycation over the coming three months we will be extending a locals only offer," she said.
"We are a resilient business and we look forward to getting back to what we do best."
See the business's website for full details.