International travel agents visited Eurobodalla earlier last week as part of a familiarisation tour to enhance their ability to promote and sell the region.
Hosted by Tourism Australia in partnership with Destination NSW and Eurobodalla Council’s tourism team, groups of agents from the UK, Europe and the Americas sampled some of the best experiences Eurobodalla has to offer over three days, including a trip to Montague Island with Lighthouse Charters to see the lighthouse and local seals and visits to Central Tilba, Bodalla Dairy Shed, and Glasshouse Rocks.
They also kayaked with whales with Region X, took in a bird’s eye view of the coast with South Coast Seaplanes, and sampled oysters at the Oyster Shed on Wray Street.
Edgewater Gardens and The Whale Motor Inn hosted the agents overnight, and they dined at Starfish Deli and The Whale.
Identified as “qualified Aussie specialists”, the visiting frontline travel agents and wholesalers actively sell Australia as a preferred long-haul destination to travellers.
Council’s Tourism Marketing Coordinator Kerrie-Anne Benton said it was anticipated the “famil” would result in visitors from new international markets.
She said the agents loved their South Coast experiences and the biggest appeal was “nature, nature and more nature”.
“People who travel or want to travel to Australia are drawn by our nature, fresh clean air, waterways and beaches, wonderful fresh produce and the friendly and safe nature of the country,” Ms Benton said.
“We’re so unspoilt and that’s why both Eurobodalla and the Sapphire Coast were selected as a familiarisation destinations.”
Ms Benton said developments at Canberra Airport had opened up new opportunities for the South Coast.
“With the commencement of flights into and out of Canberra to Singapore, a gateway for travel has emerged connecting the South Coast to the world,” she said.
“Australia is a finite market whereas massive potential exists for international travel growth.”
Key to this, she said, was encouraging more local tourism businesses to be “international-ready”.
“The more options travellers have and the more exposure to our product, the better,” she said.
In the year ending June 2016, there were 28,000 international visitors to Eurobodalla staying 87,000 nights. Of these 20 per cent were from the UK, 15 per cent from Germany and 11 per cent from the USA.
Above: International travel agents and wholesalers enjoyed a kayaking tour where they had the opportunity to paddle with whales with Region X, as part of an Australian familiarisation tour.