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Record tourist numbers in Cobar

Wednesday January 21, 2009

Tourists are continuing to flock to Cobar in record numbers, despite the summer months traditionally being a slow time for visitors.

Cobar’s tourism manager John Martin said last month was the “biggest December ever” for tourist numbers, while even just last week, accommodation in town was hard to come by.

Mr Martin said the majority of visitors have been Sydney or Queensland based.

“It really is up on normal.

“Back at the end of December and through January we have also had a few European visitors,” he said.

The Great Cobar Heritage Centre has also enjoyed a busy season, with many locals supporting the facility.

“It was really pleasing to see so many local people doing their Christmas shopping in town,” Mr Martin said.

While 2008 was a record year for Cobar tourism, Mr Martin said that trend may not continue in 2009 with the loss of air services a major blow.

“All business travel is classified as tourism, because they are visitors to the town.

“We may lose quite a lot there with Airlink gone,” he said.

Last year Outback NSW defied the regional trends for tourism, with an increase in visitor numbers in 2008 compared to the previous year.

Across most of regional NSW, visitor numbers dropped by 2.9 per cent last year, however Outback NSW region recorded an increase in visitors of 1.9 per cent on 2007 figures.

Mr Martin said an estimated 426,000 people visited the Outback NSW region last year, spending on average $111 per person, per day.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009 10:07 AM