Visitor numbers at Cobar Visitor Information Centre are up by 1,000 compared to pervious years with the increase in tourists also reflected in overnight stay data.
Cobar Shire Council tourism and public relations manager John Martin said Cobar’s tourism economy has received “a real boost” over the last two months with visitor numbers to the town increasing by approximately 20 per cent.
“In May and June over the last five years the average number of visitors through the Great Cobar Heritage Centre has been about 5,000.
“This year for May and June that number has increased to about 6,000 people,” he said.
Mr Martin said research undertaken by Tourism NSW indicated that only about 20 per cent of visitors use information centres and, with the growth of digital media in some places, that number will continue to shrink.
“However these figures can be extrapolated out and it is estimated that in May and June 2015 there has been about 30,000 people visit Cobar.
“The good news continues with July already showing visitor numbers increasing on last year,” Mr Martin said.
This increase in tourism has had a flow-on effect into the community of Cobar with an increase in over night stays reported by many local accommodation providers.
The Cobar Weekly spoke with a number of local accommodation businesses who attributed the increase in their numbers to the boom in tourism and contractors working in town.
Cobar Central Motor Inn said their data shows occupancy up six per cent on last year’s numbers, while the Copper City Motel reported a large rise in stays, with a 10-20 per cent increase on last year’s accommodation numbers.
Great Western Hotel lessee Ashleigh Bellotti said people staying in the motel and hotel accommodation increased by at least 15 per cent and also said business in the restaurant has “boomed” with more travellers stopping.
However Cobar Caravan Park manager Karen Dineen said the park’s data shows the opposite with 3,600 site stays lost over the last two years.
“We are up in our rooms but we have had to capitalise with six extra new motel suites and cabin improvements to counteract the site downturns,” Mrs Dineen said.