Cobar is now welcoming visitors with open arms (but we’ll still be keeping our 1.5metres distance) after COVID-19 travel restrictions were eased in NSW last week.
Cobar Shire Council’s tourism manager Demi Smith said it was important for the tourism industry that people be allowed to get back on the roads and start travelling again for both our social and economic recovery.
“The tourism industry also creates demand and growth for many more industries and generates numerous jobs,” Demi said.
She said tourism helps to boost smaller communities like ours.
The money that visitors spend at our local businesses is a bonus and that extra money can be put back into the community directly in wages or through sponsorship and donations to local charities and sporting groups.
Over the past few years Outback NSW has been becoming a more popular tourist destination with 2019 figures showing that the average length stay in our region was 3.1 nights with an average spend of $189 per night.
Demi said she was unsure of the full amount Cobar has lost in tourism revenue due to travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I do know that it has been tough times for all especially our local business that have been affected by firstly the drought and now the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
“It’s important that everyone continues to support each other, spend locally, promote our town and welcome our tourists with open arms as they are here to help boost our economy and support our community.”
She said Cobar Shire Council will be actively working with our neighbouring towns and visitor centres to promote the region.
“We plan to be active on our social media platforms and websites and are engaging with tour companies and coach groups to visit Cobar,” Demi said.
“We are currently working towards developing appealing tours and itineraries to encourage more than a one night stay in town and developing a top Cobar attractions tour and historical buildings tour.”
She said they are also working on new marketing material for cross promotion with other Outback NSW towns and popular tourism routes.
Demi also hopes all the hype from their recent Big Beer Can social media competition win will help to bring in more tourists.
“There were lots of comments from people saying they needed to travel to see the attraction, so helpfully we will see some of them very soon.”
She said with the Visitors Information
Centre re-opening last Friday in their temporary space in Linsley Street, staff are once again very keen to welcome visitors back to Cobar.