Profitable summer for tourism

TOURISM operators on the Monaro and Snowy Mountains have reported strong summer trading with some indicating they've had their best ever summer.

Accommodation providers, food and beverage outlets as well as some retailers and visitor centre operators have enjoyed busy summer months.

Deanne Atkinson from Aspire Alpine Gables in Jindabyne expressed delight at how good the 2013-2014 summer period fared for the business.

"Our summer budget forecast was consistently beaten each month from October 2013 right through to the end of February this year," she said.

"We worked with Tourism Snowy Mountains to leverage off their last marketing campaign with some regional television commercials that appeared to have paid off."

Heath Woolley from Snowy Hydro also revealed better than expected visitor numbers at their Discovery Centre in Cooma, Murray 1 Visitor Centre in Tumut and the Cabramurra General Store.

All facilities experienced excellent business, particularly in January with 'best ever' results for the visitor centres. "January was our biggest ever for sales and visitors at the Discovery Centre and our biggest ever for merchandise sales at Murray 1," Mr Woolley said.

"At the Cabramurra General Store, we recorded a very healthy 17 per cent increase in sales and an incredible 56 per cent increase in visitors for the month."

Other businesses in the Snowy Mountains have also indicated solid 2013-2014 trade with regional caravan parks (including camping), service stations, grocery stores, hotels, cafes, restaurants and pubs, even tradesman revealing strong or better than expected summer business.

According to Neil Thew, executive officer of Tourism Snowy Mountains (TSM), these encouraging visitor numbers, although only a snapshot, were a good sign that people are now recognising the Snowy Mountains region as a great spring, summer and autumn destination.

"To me the improved numbers show that targeted marketing, great hospitality and an attractive, appealing place to visit have combined well to bring about positive visitor increases," he said.

"The word is starting to spread; this is why we are continuing to promote our region in a new marketing campaign for next spring, summer and autumn to keep the message alive, build momentum and generate greater awareness."

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