The latest tourism data shows visitation to the Eurobodalla is at an all-time high, and with three cruise ships booked for stopovers, local leaders are optimistic about the future.
Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes says the number of visitors to Eurobodalla in 2018 reached 1.55 million, compared with 1.26 million in 2017.
“It’s estimated visitors injected $464 million into our economy in 2018, which is an incredible result,” she says.
“We’re seeing such positive energy from our local operators, who are investing in their businesses and it’s having flow-on effects to the whole shire. I’m also really proud of Council’s strategic team, which is working hard behind the scenes on several exciting projects.
“The upward trend we’re seeing puts us in great stead for the future and together we are set to start reaping rewards of that combined hard work and the strong domestic tourism market.”
Eurobodalla Shire Council has several strategies either adopted or in the pipeline setting out actions to boost tourism and ultimately the local economy.
Council also continues to work with the Port Authority of NSW to establish a regular timetable of luxury cruise ships to Batemans Bay.
Three cruise ships are set to visit in the 2019/20 cruise season – the Caledonian Sky in October 2019, and the Seabourn Encore in February and March 2020. Building on a last-minute stop by the Seabourn Encore in February this year.
It is hoped a recent familiarisation tour organised for representatives from Abercrombie & Kent Luxury Holidays and Travel – the organisation contracted to provide onshore tours for the Seabourn cruise line, will bring further benefits.
Council’s Tourism Manager Karen Dempster says the whistle-stop tour involved meetings with 15 tourism operators in and around Batemans Bay, Narooma and Tilba.
“The famil showcased local operators that are market ready to provide unique experiences and offerings to international cruise passengers,” she says.
“They were amazed at what they experienced. I think we succeeded in showing them there is more to Eurobodalla than just the beach and being Canberra’s closest port.
“From here, the agency will work directly with the operators to develop tours to offer passengers while they’re here in the 2019/20 cruise season.”