The June long weekend is expected to be another busy period for Bathurst tourism operators, with sport and snowfall expected to be among the major drawcards.
With heavy snowfall occurring around the region over the last couple of days, including the first settling of snow in Bathurst for six years, the long weekend will serve as an ideal time for many to search for their own winter wonderland.
NRMA Bathurst Panorama Holiday Park manager Chris McKeig said snow has been a key talking point among guests.
"We've had a few people call up enquiring about the snow, as well as current guests having to extend their stay due to road closures," Mr McKeig said.
"The snow couldn't have come at a more ideal time, as a trip to the snow areas around Bathurst is an easy commute for Sydneysiders to make."
Mr McKeig and his wife, Keiran McKeig, took over as managers of the holiday park in January, succeeding Lauren and Baden Shipley.
He said the park has also received bookings from a number of families visiting Bathurst for sport purposes, which never fail to inject funds into the visitor economy.
"There's a few basketball teams coming in for a tournament this weekend, local sporting events always keep us busy," Mr McKeig said.
Ms McKeig said the park has enjoyed a fruitful six months of business, with regional tourism in high demand post-COVID.
"A lot of people are looking to Bathurst for regional travel opportunities, and we're seeing a lot of families who would normally look to overseas travel for holidays," she said.
The sentiment is shared by Bathurst Regional Council tourism and visitor services manager Dan Cove, who said tourist interest during holiday periods over the past six months has been up on 2019's levels.
"Web traffic to the Bathurst Region Tourism website during holiday periods is 60 per cent up on 2019 figures, and the last two weeks in particular have seen increased online visitors," Mr Cove said.
"I suspect the snow won't hurt tourism; we posted a vlog post to the website on Wednesday about where to find snow across the Bathurst region and from the number of clicks, it's clear there's plenty of interest."
"We're still slightly in uncharted waters, as we're not out of the pandemic just yet, but at the same time, the mood among the tourism industry is strong," he said.
"The Winter Festival is looking enormous."
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