A social media campaign promoting the Barrington Coast and offering a virtual tour online has seen a spike in tourist interest in the Great Lakes, Manning and Gloucester areas.
While COVID-19 restrictions forced most of the population to stay home, MidCoast Council's destination management team had a clear content plan in place to promote Barrington Coast as an ideal place to visit once restrictions began easing.
As a result, engagement levels have spiked for the brand's social media pages, MidCoast Council growth, economic development and tourism manager, Deb Tuckerman said.
In the period from January to May 2020, Barrington Coast's Facebook page reach hit 3.1 million people, with May the biggest month the brand has ever seen, receiving 5424 comments - a 167 per cent increase on the same period last year.
"We're very encouraged by these results, particularly after such a challenging period for tourism," Ms Tuckerman said.
"When you look at our amazingly diverse region and all we have to offer in the tourism space, it seems a no-brainer to choose Barrington Coast as a destination, however it's a very competitive market place and the team's work keeps us in the spotlight and helps visitors to identify us."
Ms Tuckerman said the team wanted to ensure it was providing a great experience to those who visited the region, and was looking at how it would provide services and information to visitors.
"We know visitors access their information from a wide range of places and sources, both before and during their visit, so we're looking at how we provide services and information to our visitors across the region now and how and what visitors are actually looking for to make sure we meet these needs.
"In our recent workshops, we received some great feedback from local businesses such as cafes and clubs about the sort of requests they received for information."
A virtual tour of Barrington Coast recently conducted by Destination New South Wales also was helping to build awareness of what the region had to offer.
"The virtual tour was another great use of social media with Visit NSW's post showcasing our region's scenic drives, walks, local produce and breathtaking natural beauty to their 465,000 followers.
"We were one of only five regions to be showcased and we hope this coverage will continue to pay off for our local tourism industry."
Ms Tuckerman said the combination of reach and engagement and the support of other tourism brands on social media would continue to generate tourist dollars across the area and help the region's economic recovery post-coronavirus.
"That's the ultimate goal, to see this work transfer across into action and despite the challenges that we have faced, early indications are looking positive."
Forster Tuncurry Business Chamber president, Megan Lewis was encouraged with the growth Barrington Coast on social media platforms.
"It's vital the next step in the journey from a "like" to a "purchase" is made," Ms Lewis said.
"This falls to each of us as individual business owners and also to us as a community of local business owners," she said.
"There are so many opportunities to collaborate and cross-promote between our local accommodation providers, café and restaurant owners, "experience" providers and retailers.
"The chamber is keen to help make this happen as we look to support the growth of our local economy and community"
To see the Barrington Coast brand in action, like the Facebook page or follow them on Instagram @BarringtonCoast