Illawarra visitor numbers on the up

Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh says the region has experienced an outstanding growth in visitor numbers in the past year. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh says the region has experienced an outstanding growth in visitor numbers in the past year. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Watch this space - Destination Wollongong plans to launch two new "signature" events in the next 18 months in a bid to attract more visitors to the region.

They might not be quite like Deniliquin's ute muster or Parkes' Elvis festival but a tight-lipped Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh hopes that the mystery events will have the same effect.

The titbit of information came as Destination Wollongong revealed overnight visitors to the Illawarra have been spending more and staying longer - injecting a whopping $422 million in the 12 months prior to March 2014.

Domestic day trippers added another $302 million to the region's economy during the same period, as more people flocked to the region to enjoy a host of events.

"Visitors are currently spending nearly $2 million a day in the Illawarra, an amazing result," Mr Sleigh said.

"That growth in the visitor economy doesn't just relate to accommodation or tourist attractions; every business in Wollongong is directly impacted by a rise in the number of visitors to the region.

"They are spending that money in cafes, petrol stations, retailers, hairdressers, everyone is directly benefiting from this increased visitation."

Destination Wollongong's It's on Wollongong Summer of Fun campaign attracted $22 million to the region over 18 events, including the i98FM Camp Quality Convoy, the Australia Day aquathon, Sunset Cinema and Illawarra Folk Festival.

The NSW state government aims to double overnight visitors to the state by 2020.

Wollongong attracts most of its visitors from Sydney and regional NSW, but figures have identified Victoria and Queensland as growth areas. Britons and New Zealanders are the most frequent international visitors.

The Illawarra sub-region of Destination NSW covers from Stanwell Park to Gerringong.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop