Tourism rise

Thursday, 29th September, 2011

FREQUENT VISITORS: Ex-locals Tom and Jan Peffer enjoy returning to the city. They were pictured yesterday browsing the city’s art gallery. FREQUENT VISITORS: Ex-locals Tom and Jan Peffer enjoy returning to the city. They were pictured yesterday browsing the city’s art gallery.

By Erica Visser

 The number of tourists who visited outback NSW has grown in the past year, according to recent data.

The statistics, cited by Destination NSW, suggest that the number of overnight domestic visitors to the region, which includes Broken Hill, Silverton, White Cliffs and Wentworth, had risen by around three percent from June 2010 to June 2011. 

International visitors were also shown to be making more visits with the percentage of overnight stays up 1.3 per cent on last year and 3.4 per cent when compared to 2007. 

Chairman of Broken Hill Tourism Advisory Group, John Groenendijk, said that he’d noticed more tourists than usual lately.

“There’s a lot of tourists around town which indicates it’s been a good season,” Mr Groenendijk said. 

“There’s been reasonable weather and calm days. People feel comfortable going out and that plays a big part in whether or not we have a good season.” 

According to the data, the main reason given for visiting country NSW was ‘personal’ at 36.4 per cent followed by ‘business’ at 24.5 per cent. 

Visiting friends and relatives was also a popular reason and around of third of international tourists opted to stay with friends or family whilst in the region. 

Interestingly, only 20 per cent of domestic visitors stayed with relatives, with the most popular form of accommodation being a hotel or motel. 

The most popular activities for tourists in regional NSW was eating out at restaurants followed by sightseeing. 

For Tom and Jan Peffer, who met in Broken Hill and left the city in 1961, the place still held plenty of appeal.

“It holds personal history for us,” said Mrs Peffer. “Tom’s sister used to live here, his brother was born here and his father’s buried here.

“We just like to come back to see what changes are going on”.