Yamba all set for another big summer
THE ENGINE had barely stopped running on their trip from north of Brisbane for Jared Williams when he and his family hit the water park at the Big 4 Saltwater at Yamba.
"My mate told me I should come down and bring the family,” he said.
"We checked it out and it was pet friendly and had the big water park, and we saw all his photos on social media so we thought we'd come.”
It seems Mr Williams is not the only one, with the Yamba holiday mirroring local trends in drawing more tourists into the area.
And for owner Andrew Tribe, he said that targeting the family traveller was only part of the equation.
"We've had a great year, and I think the industry overall is doing well here,” he said.
"Yamba itself seems to have a real buzz about it, there's lots of people in the cafes, and people attract people - it's almost self-fulfilling.”
Mr Tribe said their park was on track to be up more than 10 per cent on bookings from last year, and with forward bookings already packed for December and January, predicted another good summer season for the coastal town.
"There's lots of high quality development and activities now in Yamba, and any type of high quality development, whether that's accommodation or other development, helps all of us,” he said.”
"Even something like the Palmers Store, which now offers gourmet burgers and wines and looks great, that development in that store there really adds something for everyone in Yamba.”
Mr Tribe said the Big 4 park catered to all traveller types, whether couples or grey nomads, and pointed to new amenities blocks and other work in the park, but said it was the family market that was really driving growth in the area.
"I think that family travel is recession proof. Some of the others are more reliant on things like interest rates and fuel prices, but families as long as they have a job are going to pack up and take their kids away and have a good time,” he said.
Mr Tribe said that he couldn't attribute specific changes to the park, but said they had put on extra staff to cope with the upcoming high season demand, including a person dedicated to digital marketing.
"We're doing all the little things right now, we've updated the playground equipment and new shade shelters around the water park, and the weather has been fantastic,” he said.
"We're also trying to respond as much as possible to people on sites like tripadvisor as well as working in digital a lot more, as well as linking up with influencers and the Sunrise show came through.
"That sort of thing, there's no doubt about it, it's not just us, when we market Yamba, everyone gets the advantage.”