Grey nomads out there visiting the regions are hugely appreciated

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Grey nomads encouraged to visit regions
The town of Inverell, NSW was hit by bushfires and the pandemic Pic: Paul Foley; Destination NSW

By TASH McQUEEN
Australian Regional Tourism

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When you think of tourism what comes to mind? Is it perhaps travel, tours or maybe even lunch at the café or pub?

In the industry we have a term we like to use and that is ‘visitor economy’. What it really means is every time you spend money in a regional area, you are making a big contribution to that community.

This not only includes your meal at the pub, but also your groceries from the corner shop, petrol from the service station, bread from the bakery and meat from the butcher. It can even be the parts from the mechanic or hardware store, and the donation to the local art gallery along with the little gift for each of your grandchildren. This all adds up and makes a big difference to that little town.

Across regional Australia, a significant majority of these businesses are owned by ‘mum and dad operators’, and not only are they are part of their communities, they are the lifeblood of their communities.

These business owners, just like all the staff they employ are ‘people’ people, and they have missed your cheerful smile as you walk through their door during your stay in their little town. While their excitement eagerly grows as they prepare to welcome you once again, they are also a little bit anxious – remember they have been through a lot. For some of these communities, coronavirus comes off the back of a devastating summer of bushfires and for some the challenges of the several years of drought.

For some communities it is has been both. For this moment, it seems much of the country right now is receiving welcomed rain and the easing of travel restrictions. Updates are still coming through regularly and with the restrictions still varying quite a bit between each State and Territory, it is best to check Government websites for where you are planning on travelling.

Leisure travel is now permitted within most areas, so now might be the best time to explore your own backyard. A couple of overnight trips may be just what you need to reacquaint yourself with being on the road once again. If you are looking for a little inspiration to travel further afield, there are endless opportunities to create your next itinerary or virtually experience parts of your next trip online or via Facebook.

The options are only limited by your creativity as you whet your appetite to travel! So that’s got your feet itching to get on the road, but you’re not quite ready? You can always show your support by purchasing products online, or you buying gift vouchers (your promise to visit later). These are great ways to get money flowing back to our regions now, as they slowly get back into their normal rhythms. Aussies love to support Aussies.

We encourage you to get out and support every town and region – we know they can’t wait to welcome you back!

 

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