Tourists bring hope to the Outback


Kidman’s Camp host Tracey Simmonds says tourist business is much busier since COVID19 – restrictions were eased. PHOTO TWH

The tourism season may have got off to a slow start, but it is shaping up to be one of the busiest in the past three or four years, according to some of Bourke’s hospitality and tourism operators.

Morrall’s Bakery owner John Milgate was facing the prospect of laying off staff at the beginning of the season when the COVID-19 lockdowns threatened to wreak havoc on his business, but this week John said the visitors were back.

“Our numbers are up to where they were this time in 2017 when we had the workers on the abattoir site in town,” he said.

“This time it coincides with having more tourists and having a lot of contractors in town working on improvements to the courthouse and other sites.

“The scary part is that I recently spoke to about 20 visitors and they were all from Victoria!” he said.

“A lot of the visitors are staying in town, just hovering, waiting for the borders to open. Some of them are using Bourke as a hub and shooting out to Fords Bridge and Wanaaring and Lightning Ridge.

“Everyone is happy to have the Jandra back and the Crossley engine and I know the supermarkets are doing a good turnover.

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