Zoo celebrates bumper school holiday visitation

Zoo celebrates bumper school holiday visitation

Posted on 03rd May 2019 by Media Relations

The school holidays have proven to be a very busy period for Taronga Western Plains Zoo, with record visitation numbers.

During the two weeks of the NSW school holidays over 28,000 guests entered the Zoo gates. This result was a staggering 43% up on the same school holiday period last year.

“The Easter long weekend is always one of the biggest weekends of the year for Zoo visitation. This year it was even bigger across all four days, with over 4500 visitors to the Zoo on the Easter Saturday alone,” said Director Steve Hinks.

Steve said these great results could be attributed to a combination of factors including the current strength of domestic tourism, multiple public holidays in the school holidays, highly visible Zoo and destination marketing preceeding the holidays, as well as the new exhibits opened in the last 12 months and recent new arrivals including three Giraffe calves.” 

“Our highly visible marketing campaign, featuring a new promotional image of our award winning Zoofari Lodge, included digital advertising in key markets such as Sydney and Newcastle. It was pleasing to see strong visitation from these target areas during the holiday period,” said Steve.  

The Dubbo + Great Western Plains marketing campaign led by Dubbo Regional Council and partners, supported by Destination NSW, was also in market prior to the holidays, helping to promote and draw visitors to the region.   

The bumper visitation results contribute to the overall Dubbo visitor economy.

“Whilst the Zoo as the region’s anchor attraction is a drawcard for visitors, when they visit our region they stay overnight in the city, visit other attractions, buy dinner, breakfast or coffee, fill up on fuel, got to the movies and overall help to support the many businesses in Dubbo that rely on tourism,” said Steve.

“According to Destination NSW research data, overnight visitors to the Central West spend an average of $153 per day. When balanced with the average spend for day visitors, the Zoo’s result is estimated to have contributed in excess of $4million to the local economy in this two week period alone.”

Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s three accommodation experiences – Zoofari Lodge, Savannah Cabins and Billabong Camp, were also fully booked two months in advance of the school holiday period, resulting in additional demand for other accommodation operators in the region.

“The feedback from visitors along with reviews on the Zoo experience was predominately positive, demonstrating we are providing a great day out for families. They are enjoying the changes that we’ve implemented and we’re certainly excited about what’s still to come.” 

Taronga Western Plains Zoo has big plans for the next couple of years with a number of new projects including the new waterhole café and water play area, which will open in the first half of 2020. 

“We are really excited to build on what we have achieved so far this year,” said Steve.

New arrivals were popular with visitors
New arrivals were popular with visitors