Accident waiting to happen
AS IT should, the Jacaranda Festival attracts visitors from all over the world.
More and more international tourists are lured to the vivid purple of Grafton’s jacaranda-lined streets every spring, thanks largely to a reinvigorated marketing push led by the festival’s coordinator for the past three years, Donna Hunt.
The structure and function of the committee has been revamped, but more importantly the festival’s marketing has entered the modern age, reaching far corners of the planet.
“Twice our website has crashed and we’ve had to increase the bandwidth to cope with the demand,” Ms Hunt said.
“A lot of the website traffic is international, followed by Sydney and Brisbane. The numbers are actually very low for local – I guess they already know what’s going on.”
But with the increase of international visitors from different cultures comes a different set of behaviours on our roads. A drive down Jacaranda Avenue or Turf St on any day this week requires a little more concentration, as multiple tourists play ‘chicken’ for the sake of seeking that perfect photograph.
“I do worry there’s going to be an accident. They’re quite brave, or maybe distracted,” Ms Hunt said. “We’ve done a lot of work to boost our international tourism so we don’t want anyone to get hurt that could jeopardise that.”