Online presence boosts visitor numbers

Article image - Online presence boosts visitor numbers The mobile kiosks provide connect visitors to the Visit Penrith website and provide information to visitors where and when they need it the most.

As more people access destination information online, Penrith City Council has been building its visitor strategy.

Recent research from Destination NSW – the State’s government agency for tourism – revealed that contemporary information services are the key to attracting more overnight visitors.

The internet and social media were highlighted in DNSW’s Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) Host Research paper as growing areas for people to research and plan their trips.

Penrith City Mayor Councillor John Thain said at least 37 percent of domestic visitors go online for information, and these findings align with Council’s approach to destination marketing.

“A strong online presence was identified in Penrith’s Destination Management Plan (DMP) as an opportunity to boost visitors to the area, and since its release last year we’ve made considerable headway,” said the Mayor.

“The Visit Penrith website is a dynamic platform, providing comprehensive information about attractions, experiences and upcoming events in Penrith. “We’ve also invested in digital advertising, a suite of mobile information kiosks and active engagement across social media.”

Penrith’s visitor numbers have grown from 1.07 million to 1.3 million over five years to 2014; an average increase of 58,000 per year, and of these more than 67 percent of the international overnight visitors and 50 percent of domestic overnight visitors are the VFR market.

“This VFR research confirms what we already knew about residents being a valuable source of local knowledge for their visiting friends and relatives,” said the Mayor.

“Our regular ongoing communication to residents, through traditional and new media campaigns, reflects this.”