The latest research shows the Kiama Municipality attracted almost 1.1 million visitors in 2016, up 13 per cent on the previous year, despite the higher Australian dollar making overseas travel more affordable.
“This is the first time since 2013 we’ve had more than one million visitors to our region, which is a fantastic result,” says Councillor Matt Brown, chair of Council’s new Tourism Advisory Committee.
“The most important part of the results is that these visitors spent around $145 million while visiting our area.”
While 70 per cent of this number were day trippers, the number of domestic overnight visitors increased 19.8 per cent to 308,000, and the number of international overnight visitors increased 9 per cent to 12,300.
“Getting people to stay overnight is absolute gold for our tourism operators as it provides an exponentially greater return in terms of the money spend while here,” says Clr Brown.
Council is in the midst of transitioning its tourism funding away from Kiama Tourism to its own in-house unit. Nominations by industry participants to sit on the Tourism Advisory Committee will be considered at Council’s May meeting.