REGIONAL tourism is expected to get a massive boost over the next two weeks, as school holiday makers look to visit the Central West.
Bathurst Regional Council's Manager for Tourism and Visitor Services, Daniel Cove, said traffic to council's tourism website is up by as much as 75 per cent over the last fortnight with users searching the attractions, events and accommodation sections.
"We are fielding numerous telephone enquiries and expect the holidays will see strong numbers," he said.
Mr Cove said council has been working throughout the COVID outbreak on creating new content to promote the region, upgraded the destination website and increased its direct contact via its consumer e-newsletter.
"We are currently running digital and television campaigns both in partnership with other Central West LGAs (the #wewantyouback campaign) as well as our own Bathurst specific campaign.
"We are working to increase awareness and create media opportunities for the Bathurst region. We are working with Destination NSW to be a part of the "Nows the time to love NSW" campaign. And we have created a new guide to the region's villages that will be printed and available in July," he said.
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As a city, Mr Cove said Bathurst has many attractions which sets it apart from other areas.
"Mount Panorama is clearly a huge draw card, we sometimes refer to it as our own version of the Sydney Opera House or Uluru."
But he was quick to point out there is much more to Bathurst than Mt Panorama.
"Our exceptionally high quality museums, including the brand new Rail Museum of course, the heritage of Bathurst and the heritage experiences such as Abercrombie House or the town square, and the surrounding villages with their own character all combine to set Bathurst apart.
"We are a vibrant regional area offering many of the unique attributes that visitors right now are looking for - open spaces, iconic landscapes, cultural heritage, as well as excellent local produce. And we are the closest regional city offering these west of Sydney."
Mr Cove said council interacts with accommodation providers across the city regularly and the most popular rooms that are booking out are family rooms.
"Barcoo's Farmstays which offer a farm experience is also booked out. Self-catering properties are also very popular," he said.
Elaine Hamer, who owns Barcoo's Farmstays, said she'd never seen demand for accommodation at the property like she had in the past month.
"Unprecedented is the word," she said.
Mrs Hamer said the phone started ringing within 10 minutes of regional travel restrictions being lifted and hasn't stopped since.
She said it was hard to know why farmstays have suddenly become so popular, but thought it might be because people want to be out in the country, having been stuck at home for so long.
Mrs Hamer said in a normally busy period like the school holidays, she fields two to three enquiries in a week but said in recent times it's more like 150.
"I've had four enquiries this morning people asking can we book next week, but we're booked out."
She said the farmstay can sleep 24 or four families, not including camping. But demand is so high even camp sites at the property are booked out.
"Normally we wouldn't have people camping in winter, but next week we've got two in tents and I've had to tell others, there's just no availability We are booked every weekend to the V8s."