BATHURST is poised for one of its biggest tourism periods ever, thanks to a combination of clever marketing and a lift in Covid-19 restrictions.
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Bookings for the April school holidays are already up 40 per cent on this time las year, which was also a boom period for the region, as the state's borders were closed and crowds came out west for the holidays.
Tourism Manager for Bathurst Region Tourism, Dan Cove said the Easter holidays could potentially be huge for Bathurst tourism and the local economy.
"That is the expectation," Mr Cove said.
He said the last two years have been very difficult for the sector.
"The last two years have a rollercoaster, boom and bust times depending on the cycle.
"Now people have crossed the psychological barrier and people are making forward bookings, which are through the roof.
"We are hopefully looking at some record numbers the next few weeks. The NRL was a record, the event sales for Easter I think are going to be records.
"Fingers crossed nothing awful happens that is out of our control.
"If it doesn't it should be a record setting."
Mr Cove said the city has had a huge amount of media interest lately.
"We work with a couple of PR agencies, we do a lot of work ourselves just raising the profile, we have had some big profile names visit us over the last few months.
"We've also been running a few simultaneous marketing programs.
"We've really targeted the family markets.
"We do a lot of socials, niche publications, family sectors.
"It's Bathurst's big point of difference, we are the best family destination west of the mountains, and we are starting to see the results from that type of activity.
"We've been shouting very loudly."
He said tracking on online bookings, looking at forward bookings compared to last year are promising.
"And remember this time last year was pretty good as well. It was the first real post Covid-19 boom, it didn't last unfortunately but it was great while it was there.
"Compared to that time forward bookings six months ahead are 30 to 40 per cent above where they were last year.
"It really shows the confidence is back people are prepared to book ahead," he said.
Among the attractions calling families are the city's autumnal celebration of heritage and culture.
As the weather begins to cool and the autumn colours appear on the trees, Mr Cove said Bathurst has much to offer Sydney families who want to escape the city for Easter.
He said among the attractions were the Bathurst Heritage Trades Trail, Saturday April 9 to Sunday 10 April 10 which offers kids a fun and educational experience to discover the crafts and traditions of yesteryear that helped shape the Bathurst region.
Matt Moran's newly renovated The Rockley Pub is also another attraction, as is Abercrombie House where guests can enjoy exploring the mansion.
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