It seems like there are more visitors coming to our region every year, and ‘Eat out, dine at a restaurant or café’ (65.9%) is the most popular activity undertaken by visitors to the broad North Coast region, followed by ‘go to the beach’ (49.4%) and ‘visit friends and relatives’ (45.3%).
The ‘North Coast’, on which these Destination NSW September 2016 visitor statistics are based, includes the area from Coffs Harbour to Tweed and inland as far as Grafton, but the profile for Byron LGA is quite different to the regional profile. For example, those ‘visiting relatives and friends’ on the North Coast are 32.8% of visitors, in Byron they make up just 22.8%.
As you’d expect, those on ‘holiday’ make up only 52.3% of ‘North Coast’ visitors, but make up a whopping 77% of Byron LGA visitors.
Many of those visiting Byron Bay and the surrounding region are coming for weddings and functions, and there is a steady demand for not only venues in Byron Bay, but also the services such as event management, catering, florists, transport, entertainment and associated activities that go along with hosting a function.
A new Echo publication, Byron Venue, collects in one booklet these services from the Far North Coast region surrounding Byron., and this week made finding those services even easier by launching its new website byronvenue.com.au
According to the website, ‘if you are considering Byron Bay or the surrounding Northern Rivers region as the destination for your event or function, Byron Venue is a quick and easy reference to the best locations on offer’.
Having a coordinated approach to promoting the region, and a professional approach to fulfillment, will be an important factor in capturing a bigger share of a previously untapped market for larger conferences.
What is currently missing from the Byron LGA statistics is the business market. Across the whole North Coast about 10% of visitors are traveling for ‘business’, but in Byron LGA this figure is too low to be reliably measured. However, business and conference visitors are often high yielding (big spenders) and, because a lot of them come at once, this market is considered very valuable, and is the focus of a concerted campaign by a partnership between Byron Shire Council and the visitor industry, primarily funded a few of the major players (Elements of Byron, Byron at Byron, Ballina-Byron airport and Flashcamp).
The Byron Business Events Bureau will be officially launched at the industry conference AIME 2017.