14 January 2021

Strong summer season for high-country tourism

| Kim Treasure
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A couple stands on a summit in Kosciuszko National Park with the sunset behind them.

Tourist numbers in the Snowy Mountains and Snowy Valleys regions have been high this summer. Photo: Tourism Snowy Mountains.

While border closures sent Victorian visitors scurrying home from the NSW Far South Coast, tourism in the high country is continuing to build, according to Snowy Monaro Regional Council Mayor Peter Beer.

Mayor Beer said cafes and restaurants are busy, with bike riders and walking enthusiasts flocking to the alpine region.

“We’ve experienced yet another bumper weekend in the region with cyclists, hikers and watersport-loving visitors enjoying all of the great attractions and activities on offer,” he said.

“While the recent border closures caused some disruption as Victorians quickly headed home, our region was fortunate not to be as severely impacted as our friends on the Far South Coast.

“It is certainly humming. The influx of visitors is fantastic for our local businesses and tourism operators, however I once again remind everyone to remain alert to following COVID-19 safe guidelines. This will help us to ensure our region remains open for visitors and safe for our community.”

READ ALSO Musical chairs for holiday-makers as border closures disrupt plans

Mayor Beer said Canberrans and NSW residents are filling any gaps left by departing Victorians and the region appears set for a strong summer season.

“People are saying the traffic is about as heavy as it gets in winter time,” he said. “We hope it keeps going and then we will see what February brings.”

Meanwhile, plans are underway for the next big event on the holiday calendar: Australia Day.

Events for Jindabyne and Cooma are scheduled for Australia Day itself, while Bombala will hold its celebrations on Saturday, 23 January, coinciding with the Australia Day Wool Festival.

READ ALSO Bega Mayor rolls out the welcome mat for Canberrans

A calendar of events can be found here, with more information to be added closer to Australia Day on 26 January.

The Snowy Mountains has been identified by the NSW Government as a Special Activation Precinct (SAP) as part of its 20-year economic vision for regional NSW.

The Snowy Mountains SAP aims to increase year-round tourism to grow the regional economy and create job opportunities. It is to be delivered as part of the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund, with a master plan and community engagement sessions expected early this year.

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