Batemans Bay had a group of very special visitors on Wednesday afternoon, as an international trade delegation completed a three-day tour of southeast New South Wales.
The group of consuls general from 15 countries started their trip on Monday, February 11 in the Snowy Mountains.
They visited Boydtown and Eden on Tuesday, before coming north through Bega and Narooma on Wednesday.
The group finished up at the Wrays Road Oyster Shed, where Batemans Bay oyster farmer Ben Ralston demonstrated oyster shucking.
The countries represented were Argentina, Austria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States.
The number of American tourists here is high, and it has been rising ever year
United States Consul General for NSW, Sharon Hudson-Dean, said she saw many opportunities for both investment and tourism along the South Coast.
"It's not crowded here, you can swim with seals, eat a fresh oyster just pulled out of the water, and you have have fabulous temperatures," she said.
"It's almost the perfect holiday combined with a stop in Sydney to see the Opera House."
Austrian Consul General Karl Hartleb said the region could the planned Batemans Bay arts centre would bring more winter visitors.
However, tourism was not the only focus.
"We've looked at many different opportunities for trade and investment, including energy which is a big one for American companies," Ms Hudson-Dean said.
"I was very happy to see at a wind farm we visited that they were using General Electric turbines, which is one of our biggest and oldest companies.
"A lot of American companies are very big on the entire energy market, from traditional sources of energy through to renewables.
"We're the number-one investor in Australia. American companies are here, they've been here for a long time, and they love doing business here."
Ms Hudson-Dean said growing business investments would help keep young people in regional areas.
"That's an area where I think both the US and Australia can do a lot more," she said.
On Tuesday, she visited Bega's innovation hub.
This area isn't well known among Americans, so trying to educate the population and the travel industry about this region would be the next big step.
"They're very focused on bringing technology companies to the area to open up new employment opportunities and creative ideas for young people.
"There's a lot of that going on in the US right now with regional communities trying to attract new companies to keep young people around."
Ms Hudson-Dean said American and international companies could see opportunities on the South Coast.
"One of the things I'm really impressed with in Australia is the very positive focus on work-life balance," she said.
"It's a challenge for the United States, and something I think we can work on together. There's a big focus on infrastructure and connectivity in both our countries, and when we bring those opportunities to regional areas, then other opportunities will naturally open up."
Ms Hudson-Dean said tourism opportunities were endless.
"The number of American tourists here is high, and it has been rising ever year," she said. "They're very interested in coming her to explore all the exotic elements of Australia, which you have in this region, you have a lot of the wildlife we love to see.
"Then you add the good food and sunshine, and there's really good opportunities for tourism.
"This area isn't well known among Americans, so trying to educate the population and the travel industry about this region would be the next big step."
Ms Hudson-Dean said she would readily recommend the region to a friend or relative.