OUR SAY: A million good reasons to visit the Clarence

IT WAS pleasing to read the news that visitor numbers to the Clarence Valley topped the million mark last year.

It backs up the anecdotal evidence that visitor numbers had been rising each summer since a succession of wet summers culminating in the 2013 flood.

While the numbers were heartening, they are not a reason to rest on our laurels.

The majority of our visitors understandably come to enjoy the world-class coastline and related attractions of the Valley.

But there are other avenues for the region to exploit when attracting visitors to the region.

>> RELATED STORY: Tourism surge as Clarence hits million mark

The city of Grafton already attracts sports tourism with its facilities such as the water-based hockey fields - which will host the NSW Over-55 Masters Hockey Championships this week - and the Clarence River hosts several major watersport events every year.

Grafton also boasts cultural attractions such as the regional art gallery, which is about to host the 2017 Archibald Tour.

It also boasts an astonishing array of historical buildings dating back to the 19th century which attracts visitors all year.

Despite its successes, the region drops the ball occasionally. A good example of this is the loss of the whitewater canoeing facility at Nymboida.

The Valley shouldn't be content about attracting a million people to the region as a target reached.

It should be just a damn good start.

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