Orange 360 receives $50,00 in drought funding

ROOM IN THE INN: Ray Burns said that motels are one of the few businesses that locals can't really support. Photo: Mark Logan.
ROOM IN THE INN: Ray Burns said that motels are one of the few businesses that locals can't really support. Photo: Mark Logan.

One of the centres heavily impacted by the sudden reduction in tourist numbers is the Blayney shire.

With the historic villages of both Carcoar and Millthorpe being two of the most popular in the central west, the visitor numbers are expected to crash over the coming months.

The motels in Blayney have also seen mass cancellations over the next three to four months.

"Nearly every social event, from 21st parties to weddings and local markets have all been cancelled and they are the mainstay for our business," said the manager of the Blayney Central Motel, Ray Burns.

IN OTHER NEWS

Mr Burns said that accommodation businesses were entirely dependent on visitors, a unique situation in most towns.

"Residents can all help our businesses survive by shopping locally, but all of the motels are, apart from some mining rentals, dependent on visitors. Locals don't book out rooms," he said.

Short-term mining leases are something that Mr Burns will be considering as a means of keeping the business viable, but says that government help will be necessary.

There are plans afoot to help the industry rebound through a $100,000 marketing campaign to be launched in late 2020.

Funded in part through the state government's recent round of the Drought Stimulus Package, the funding is recognition of the impact the Coronavirus will have on local tourism related businesses said Orange 360 general manager Caddie Marshall.

"We want to get back to where we were before the commencement of the COVID-19 crisis so that when it's safe to travel again they choose here," she said.

The grant consists of $50,000 from the DSP and is to be boosted with another $50,000 from Cabonne Shire.

The plan is to continue to use social media to keep the central west in the forefront of visitors thinking, and when cabin-fever becomes too much, plan a short trip when travel is allowed.

"We want to get visitors out here, especially from Canberra, in spring and have them stay here for a longer time and disperse them throughout the villages," Ms Marshall said.