PORT Macquarie has been named as one of four NSW towns in Wotif's top 10 places to visit in Australia.
Today (February 24), the go-to travel site for domestic travel, Wotif.com has announced the winners of the 2021 Aussie Town of the Year Awards.
Now in its fourth year, these annual Aussie tourism awards recognise some of the country's best destinations for the year ahead, to encourage Aussies to hit the road and see more of their own backyard.
Almost one year on from the country's first lockdown and as tourism operators continue to navigate through one of the most critical times for the industry, this year Wotif hopes to encourage Aussies to consider how worthwhile a local trip can be.
Wotif managing director, Daniel Finch said this year's awards are important after tourist operators faced one of their toughest 12 months.
"It's time to recognise and celebrate the people and communities behind some of Australia's finest tourism destinations - who continue to work tirelessly and adapt to new and ongoing restrictions," Mr Finch said.
This year's winning destinations have been awarded based on their accommodation quality, affordability and traveller satisfaction.
Port Macquarie came in ninth with Cairns, Pokolbin and Apollo Bay taking out the top three spots.
When lockdown restrictions eased before Christmas for many parts of NSW, Port Macquarie saw a city exodus of travellers keen to have a holiday close to home.
The region's accommodation was fully booked through until February.
New to this year, the awards also recognise destinations that have met the changing needs of travellers over the last 12 months, by offering increased flexibility, good-value deals and appealing activities and attractions. In addition, many of the winning towns have used the last 12 months to renew their offerings and re-emerge stronger as a result of the ongoing challenges.
"Based on our conversations with this year's finalists, while all agree there is still a long way to go, with some areas reporting a up to a 90 per cent profit loss during the height of the pandemic, it's promising to see optimism is high," Mr Finch said.
"Each region is at a different stage of recovery, but some operators are starting to see signs of relief with the Aussie sense of support extremely high. What's clear is that the industry is focused on ensuring travellers feel welcome and safe."
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