Since mid-year Elements of Byron resort has refocused its substantial marketing investment and effort toward families. With the opening of the final 99 villas last month, the capacity to host family groups has quadrupled. Sixty-eight of the new villas are two-bedroom two-bathroom ‘homes away from home’, bringing the total number of two-bedroom villas on the property to 88.
‘It’s a significant shift for us,’ said sales and marketing manager David Jones. ‘Luckily we have some experience under our belt. We learned a lot last summer during peak season and this year we created a fair amount of new product to better meet the needs of families.’
A new timber children’s adventure playground, bocce rink, giant chess set and expanded timber decking around the lagoon infinity pool are some of the new additions. The range of guided nature walks will also expand, with a new walk set to capture the interests of inquisitive children. At the same time, a new adult-only pool with swim-up bar acknowledges the child-free traveller.
Delivering a wholesome experience for families cannot be done in isolation however, according to Jones. ‘The co-operation required is monumental,’ he said. ‘We are working with dozens of local businesses. There are so many experienced, professional yet edgy operators here. Our guests are the winners from this collaboration.’
Zephyr Horses, Go Sea Kayaks, Sunshine Cycles, Byron Bay KidsKlub and Let’s Go Surfing are some of the businesses working with Elements of Byron. ‘I love being able to showcase how I grew up in this area,’ said Kate Noller, who runs Zephyr Horses from onsite stables at Elements of Byron. ‘On horseback on the beach and in the forest, sharing the incredible land with visiting families as well as locals is really special.’
Unlike almost every other region in NSW the Byron Shire does not receive funding for the visitor economy from state or local government, which places considerable responsibility on individual operators.
‘It’s a delicate balance,’ according to Destination Byron president Peter Wotton. ‘Businesses are free to market themselves how they choose; all we can do is encourage and support appropriate messaging. Families are of course a key target. They are a slower-moving visitor who tends to stay longer. They give a higher overall yield and are, on the whole, respectful of this beautiful place we call Byron.’
Kate Noller from Zephyr Horses at the stables on the Elements of Byron property. She likes sharing the incredible land with visiting families. Photo by soulsofbyronbay.com.au.