IT’S FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY
Jaca tourists ignoring road rules an accident waiting to happen
GRAFTON drivers might need to exercise more care in the Jacaranda City’s purple hotspots as awestruck tourists are likely to ignore traffic conditions to get a better look at the blooms.
Clarence Valley Council’s events and promotions officer Alicia Savelloni said it was important to ensure visitors continued to feel welcome in the city.
“The issue needs to be handled so that people keep safe but aren’t scared away by harsh regulations,” Ms Savelloni said.
“Our civil service section maybe could look at ways of slowing the traffic around the areas most often used for certain times of the year.”
She said warning visitors to be careful of the traffic conditions might be something to add to promotional material for the season.
Visitor numbers from Asian countries and communities within Australia have skyrocketed since a promotional campaign targeting the
sector began several years ago.
Ms Savelloni said the council’s promotion of the Jacaranda Festival had added another dimension since the council partnered with the Jacaranda Festival Committee in 2015 to promote the festival.
“With the initial success of promoting the Jacaranda Festival, the Economic Development Team and the local tourism industry saw there was an opportunity to promote a parallel event in the Jacaranda season.
“Last year the EDT staff did a survey in Chinese, Japanese and Thai languages with visitors and we found a few things that surprised us,” Ms Savelloni said.
“We found the majority of Chinese Australian visitors were coming from Sydney and not Brisbane as we expected.
“Also most of the visitors were in the 25-34 years age group with people either on study or work visas.
“So it was important we directed our social media marketing on Facebook and Instagram at that demographic.”
Ms Savelloni said the approach has paid off.
“We’ve had a huge number of hits on the sites.”
She said the council hired internet consultant Ben Yuan eight weeks ago to develop material for the two most popular Chinese social media platforms, Weibo and Wechat.
“Ben has created My Clarence Valley pages on both those platforms promoting the Jacaranda Festival and the Jacaranda season,” Ms Savelloni said.
Speaking to visitors, it has been the internet campaign that has attracted most people to the region.
Yesterday, three Taiwanese friends, Vincent Le, Kadence Chang and Ariel Lin, decided on a day visit to Grafton to catch the jacarandas in full bloom.
“We saw it on the internet and thought it looked very beautiful,” Mr Le said.
INTERNATIONAL FLAVOUR: Grafton’s Jacarandas have been popular with Asian visitors to Grafton responding to the Clarence Valley Council's social media campaing.