Visitors flocked to the Illawarra over the Easter long weekend, with the Gateway Visitors Centre recording a 15 per cent increase in visitor numbers over 2019.
Centre manager Julie-anne Francis said 1000 visitors attended over four days, up from 850 in 2019 - and none in 2020, due to COVID-19. Most visitors were from the greater Sydney region, followed by locals and interstate visitors.
"It was a very profitable weekend," she said.
Jamberoo Action Park marketing manager Grant Wright said the park was also up about 20 per cent on past numbers, discounting 2020.
"People certainly seem to be looking to escape Sydney," he said.
"There's a whole bunch of influences on consumer behaviour we've never seen before, and while there will be a black cloud over many businesses until a vaccine is rolled out, it was a relief to get through the season incident-free after restrictions eased in September."
Mr Wright said Jamberoo Action Park had received a number of Dine and Discover vouchers at the gate, a trend that was echoed in town.
Selena Stevens, co-owner of His Boy Elroy, said business was "constant" over the four days.
"We noticed a definite Dine and Discover trend, and a lot of customers that hadn't heard of us before," she said.
"Usually even in busy times there are peaks and troughs, but it was consistently busy all weekend."
A spokesperson for Business Illawarra said official visitation figures should be available later this week.
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.