Jetstar CEO David Hall at Byron at Byron last week.
With a theme of theme of ‘How we will disperse our visitors; across the week, across the year and across our shire’, the first Destination Byron Tourism Symposium was held last Thursday at Byron at Byron.
With over 100 local tourism operators and industry professionals attending during the afternoon, the meeting was addressed by guest speaker David Hall, CEO of Jetstar who travelled from Melbourne to attend the event.
David was very keen to engage with local stakeholders about additional flight capacity which was introduced on the Ballina-Melbourne market at the start of the month. The base schedule moved from three times weekly to five times weekly. During certain periods Jetstar will also offer a daily service on the route.
In total, these changes deliver more than 40,000 extra seats a year in and out of Ballina.
‘Since starting back in 2005 we’ve carried more than one million passengers through the airport and sold more than 100,000 fares for less than $50’, says Mr Hall. ‘Low fares such as these bring new travellers into the region and help stimulate the local tourism market.
While the population around the Ballina-Byron Gateway Airport is relatively small, local tourism attractions have made this one of the stronger inbound tourist markets in our Australian network.’
Mr Hall said that the increased number of seats represents a big vote of confidence in all the region’s attractions and has the potential to bring substantial benefits to the local economy. ‘So far we’ve seen a good rather than exceptional response in the market.
‘The school holidays will provide a timely boost and we’ll hope to continue the momentum throughout the rest of the winter and into spring.’
Hosted by the Visitor Industry Association (VIA Byron), Byron Shire Council and the Ballina/Byron Gateway Airport, the symposium looked at domestic and international marketing strategies and three panel discussions were held on the subjects of business approaches, and tourism around the shire’s many events and the associated transportation – the latter saw David again speak to the audience along with Angela Brand from Europcars and Terry Pitt from Byron Bay Taxis & Limousines and Xcede Airport Transfers.
’it’s important that all of us – from tourism bodies to local operators to the airport – work together to promote this great destination’, said David. ‘And all it has to offer in the Melbourne and Sydney markets.’