Tourists encouraged to ‘love local’ following COVID-19 travel restrictions easing

As domestic travellers begin to visit the regions, they will begin a spending spree worth $1.3billion to the Central NSW economy*, a huge boost for local businesses and will directly benefit the entire community.

With a majority 35% of travellers visiting friends and relatives, it is the local hosts who will play a vital role in this transaction.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said accommodation may be hosted but they will spend more in cafes, restaurants, attractions, shops, gifts and on local produce.

“Small businesses reinvest in the local economy at a higher rate than chains do, so I’m encouraging everyone to ‘love local’ and get out and spend wisely in our community,” Cr Reg Kidd said.

“My top tips for showing the love to our local businesses are showing my guests what Orange has to offer. Whether that’s a visit to one of our many fantastic wineries, a hike around Federal Falls to see the waterfall, a bite to eat downtown at our restaurants, or a quick shopping trip downtown. The list is endless,” Cr Kidd said.

An American Express Shop Small report in 2019 measured the ‘Boomerang Dollar’ which is the value of consumer spending within small businesses that flows back into the local community.

Of each dollar spent with small businesses, 45 cents are reinvested back into the local community. The money spent flows back into the salaries of residents, payments to local suppliers, charities, schools and sponsorships.

The other positive effects of supporting local businesses are the health benefits of local fresh seasonal produce, the environmental impact of low travel miles, the social aspect of getting to know the people behind the product and maintaining the region’s unique character and pride.

In 2019 there were 2.8 million domestic overnight visitors who stayed 7.2 million nights in Central NSW and spent $1.3 billion. The majority of visitors to the region came for the purpose of Visiting Friends and Relatives and Holiday (35% each), followed by Business (21%).*

A new $30k tourism campaign ‘We want you back’ will be rolled out this month, a partnership between 10 LGAs (local government areas), Orange360 and Central NSW Joint Organisation. It features Orange, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Bathurst, Oberon, Forbes, Lachlan, Weddin and Parkes.

The campaign will feature 27 local tourism personalities sharing their stories on what they love about their region with tips on things to see, do and taste.

A survey is also being undertaken to evaluate local spend with Visiting Friends and Relatives. Please fill in the short questionnaire.

*According to Tourism Research Australia visitation to Central NSW year end December 2019.

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