Aerial view of Dubbo

Tourism has returned to Dubbo, with visitation now comparable to pre-COVID standards according to Dubbo Regional Council’s July Tourism Market Report.

Dubbo Regional Council Mayor, Mathew Dickerson, says the return of visitors was “very pleasing”.

“Tourism is a significant part of our economy and it is encouraging to see such a strong return to school holiday visitation particularly,” Mayor Dickerson said.

“The year-on-year comparison has significantly increased as COVID lockdowns were in place at the same time last year, but the four-year comparison trend data also remains positive.

“The recent data shows Council’s accommodation remains higher than the four years prior at 73.4 per cent occupancy and tourism operations are also showing strong positive ticket sales and visitor attendance.”

Tourism’s return was credited to both government initiatives and Council’s marketing efforts according to Mayor Dickerson.

“Government initiatives such as the Service NSW Dine and Discover and Parent Vouchers have been a real boost for the local government area (LGA), which is abundant with great bookable tourism products,” Mayor Dickerson said. 

“Council staff were able to work with agencies and local industry to take advantage of the opportunity to leverage our great product and encourage spending and visitation in this important sector.” 

Council tourism operations, including the Great Big Adventure Pass, benefitted to the sum of $541,958.49 as a direct result of the Service NSW Voucher program, which ran from March 2021 through to the end of June 2022.

According to Council’s Manager Economic Development and Marketing, Josie Howard, the digital campaign for the NSW Parent Vouchers was only one of many targeted approaches DRC took to achieve the positive winter visitation.

“Working closely with industry to smooth the impacts of the COVID lockdowns, and take advantage of the opportunity for visitation, is an important part of the success of the recent school holidays,” Ms Howard said.

“Council staff have built solid relationships with industry, and collaboratively drive strategic and targeted marketing activity that best meets the product promise of the Dubbo Region.”

Ms Howard said that accommodation in Dubbo is also reaching very high occupancy during the shoulder holidays of spring and autumn.

“Leading into the winter holidays, digital marketing alone reached over 115,000 people.

“The specific Adventure Awaits campaign, targeting NSW Parent Voucher use before the end of the financial year, encouraged potential visitors to make bookings in June for the July School Holidays using their vouchers before they expired; with engagement from this campaign alone close to 70,000 people.”

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