PERSONAL, small-town service continues to prove a winner for Yamba.
With the Christmas holidays just around the corner, the tourist drawcard has been given a big tick in a ranking taken from hotel booking websites.
Yamba was rated the second most popular destination in New South Wales, just behind the Hunter Valley, and the 12th in Australia.
The poll, conducted by travel website trivago, gathered more than 120 million reviews posted on more than 175 booking websites to find out which destination had the best accommodation.
Rachael Wallace moved from the Central Coast to Yamba after she saw a position open at the Pacific Hotel, where she is employed in administration, and agrees that smaller towns can offer a personalised experience.
"I used to live in Sydney, and the service is definitely more personalised here," Ms Wallace said.
"People come here to have a beer in the afternoon overlooking the view."
A trivago spokeswoman, Bianca Delbao, said the personal approach was something the cities missed.
While Sydney and Melbourne had large hotels with great facilities, they lacked feel of smaller towns.
She added Yamba's beaches, climate and atmosphere made it a real winner.
Only destinations with more than 10 hotels where examined for the survey, with each hotel needing more than 200 reviews.
The data was collected from October figures.
Elders Yamba principal licensee Vikki Seekamp said holiday rentals were heavily booked for the Christmas period and completely booked for New Year's Eve.
"People are coming here instead of Byron Bay because there are no crowds," Ms Seekamp said.
"Noosa is another one of those places where it is incredibly busy and you can't get a park.
"We have 13 beaches to pick from and have a lot of attributes without the crowds."
Ms Seekamp said Yamba was not in danger of becoming another Byron Bay or Noosa, however, because there was nowhere else to expand and there were limits to how high you could build.
"The prices are still stable and people are in at the bottom of the market," she said.
"It is a good time to buy."
TOP 5 HOTEL REPUTATIONS
1) Hunter Valley 86.00
2) Yamba 84.41
3) Merimbula 83.56
4) Narooma 83.43
5) Nambucca Heads 83.27
1)Yallingup (WA) 86.22
2) Stanley (TAS) 86.11
3) Hunter Valley (NSW) 86.00
4) Denmark (WA) 85.85
5) Yarra Valley (VIC) 85.71
12) Yamba (NSW) 84.41
(ratings are out of 100)
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