There has been positive news for the Sapphire Coast’s tourism industry. According to Tourism Research Australia National and International Visitor Surveys data for March to June 2011 the March-June 2011 quarter was up in all domestic categories on the September-December 2010. Domestic overnight visitors experienced a 6 per cent increase, domestic visitor nights a 7 per cent increase, and domestic day visitors are up 2.5 per cent. This summer is going to be a busier one!
The GottaGetaway and Getaway Merimbula Holiday Accommodation division of the Fisk & Nagle entity is on track to achieve record bookings for the month of December.
The concern regarding the global economy is not affecting Australian’s desire to maintain their Christmas break or annual beach holiday. The local Merimbula, Pambula Beach and more recently Tura Beach areas have always been a favourite holiday area for many living in the states of Victoria and the ACT. This year has proven no different with GottaGetaway experiencing record bookings for December with two months of bookings remaining. January is on track to be a bumper month as well with bookings flowing in regularly at present. Getaway staff expect booking enquiry level to increase sharply after the September/ October school holidays and potential guests are advised to book early rather than be disappointed.
Principal and Managing Director, Don Peterson attributes the growth to the introduction of an online booking system three years ago. Eighty percent of holiday guests research and book their holidays and holiday accommodation online. This is only expected to increase in the future. Guests do their research from the comfort of their homes over a period of days. ‘Once they have made their decision – they want to make their booking now whether that be at 6am in the morning or 10pm at night’ says Peterson. The GottaGetaway website which is powered by the ontime online booking system Yes Book It, offers guests the option of booking and paying for their accommodation 24 hours a day. GottaGetaway’s market positioning is further strengthened by a Merimbula office front and two full time booking staff members. ‘Guests can call our office direct’, says Peterson, ‘and talk to a trained staff member that knows the properties and area well.’
This Christmas season, Christmas day and Boxing day has fallen early in the week which has challenged the traditional Saturday to Saturday seven day holiday booking. GottaGetaway has addressed this issue by increasing flexibility of arrival dates. Guests are able to book their holiday on a variety of days and as the season approaches, the length of booking required will also become more flexible. ‘Gaps’ in the calendar will be offerred as specials and potential guests who are only able to snatch a couple of days break are advised to visit the www.gottagetaway.com.au website regularly to take advantage of these specials. A further option is to join the GottaGetaway newsletter subscription service which will notify interested parties of impending specials.
GottaGetaway has secured a place in the Merimbula holiday accommodation sector as a dynamic market leader. ‘Heads in Beds’ is what it is all about’ says Peterson. To achieve that, holiday accommodation providers must be flexible in order to meet the needs of guests. Enforcing inflexible seven day bookings from Saturday to Saturday does not meet the market and providers are selling themselves short. Identifying and meeting the market are the requirements of successful business which in turn promotes the local tourism sector and supports the local economy.’