DESPITE recent criticisms, councillors say visitation to the city's cultural facilities is proof that the current level of promotion of Bathurst is working.
Bathurst Regional Council has reported that visitation and retail sales numbers were at an all-time high over the Christmas holidays.
The trend of people holidaying closer to home and council's increased marketing efforts have been credited for the boosts to visitation and sales.
"Council's cultural facilities recorded exceptional visitation and sales during the Christmas holiday period, with the Bathurst Visitor Information Centre achieving the highest monthly retail sales ever recorded in December 2020 and welcoming almost 4,000 visitors since the start of the school holidays," mayor Bobby Bourke said.
"Numbers through the door at BVIC for the Christmas/New Year period are 40 per cent higher than for the same period last year, from Christmas Eve through until New Year's Day.
"That is reflected across other facilities. Visitation to the National Motor Racing Museum was up more than 70 per cent, while the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum was up a staggering 210 per cent."
It comes after businessman Peter Rogers criticised council last month for not doing enough to promote Bathurst.
Both Cr Bourke said the figures "reflect the success of council's ongoing marketing and promotion of the city", and his comments were echoed by Cr Jacqui Rudge.
"The cultural facilities in Bathurst are amazing. We've had people coming out saying museums lose money," Cr Rudge said.
"Our museums are attracting an enormous amount of people.
"... The departments and staff of Bathurst Regional Council are doing a really good job and we need to work hand-in-hand with them."
Cr Rudge said there are areas where council can improve promotion, but that's not to say what has been implemented hasn't worked.
"People are going to say that people can't travel overseas and it's because of COVID, but these numbers had been increasing before COVID," she said.
"We've had good numbers through the door, there's been lots of implementations down at BVIC, the staff are working really hard ... the staff are pushing forward to make Bathurst a premier destination to come and visit and come and stay."
She said she understands that businesses need more patrons, but they also need to join council in the efforts to bring people to town.
"It's a joint relationship. We need to work together, it's a cooperation, and we need to be working together," Cr Rudge said.
She added that some of the concerns of businesses could be easily addressed by speaking to BVIC staff in particular, who could provide them with some helpful resources.