An 'enormous' boom in tourism numbers for Dubbo will see a better and stronger future for the city in terms of attracting visitors.
Numbers have been record-breaking over the last few months across Dubbo's three major tourist attractions, Old Dubbo Gaol, Taronga Western Plains Zoo and Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Experience as well as the Wellington Caves.
Royal Flying Doctor Service head of tourism John Larkin said they recently experience there biggest two-weeks over the spring school holiday period since opening nine months ago.
"We had almost 7000 visitors through the door within those 14 days," he said.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo director Steve Hinks said likewise, the zoo has experienced one of the busiest few months on record.
"We re-opened on June 1st after 11 weeks of closure due to COVID-19 and immediately saw an uptake in tourism numbers," Mr Hinks said.
"June was one of the strongest Junes we've had on record-, July was the strongest we've had on record and August was one of the best Augusts we have on record. September and October continued that trend, with more than 25,000 visitors coming through the zoo within the two-week school holiday period."
Mr Hinks said with all the difficulties they've faced regionally it's an important boost to the regional economy.
Mayor of Dubbo Ben Shields said the same goes for Old Dubbo Gaol.
"In its more than 40 years of operating we've had our best ever months, it's quite extraordinary," he said.
"We've seen lots of people coming to Dubbo for their first visit. For too long city siders have felt there is nothing beyond the Blue Mountains. It's good to be getting it out there that there's a lot more than just dirt and tumbleweeds out here."
Mr Larkin said visitors have been very impressed with food offerings and with a number of other attractions such as the Observatory.
"Dubbo is the only place in Australia that has four large attractions that are so different from each other," Mr Larkin said.
"They're four really unique attractions and the feedback over the last two weeks has been extraordinary which means people are going to go back and tell their friends and family how great Dubbo is."
Mr Hinks said Dubbo has really established itself as the family holiday destination for NSW, if not Australia.
"Dubbo has something for each member of each family which is something I think makes it very attractive," Mr Hinks said.
"The outcome of the tourism boosts is that people have been surprised by their experiences here and that will put us in really good stead into the future."
Mr Larkin said one of the things they're not seeing is a lot of Dubbo people coming to the attractions.
"We've seen a lot of people from Orange and Bathurst coming," he said.
"We want to see a good stream of people coming, not just during the school holiday period."
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