Following the NSW Government's announcement that intra-state travel restrictions will be lifted from Monday 1 June 2020, tourism operators are now preparing to welcome back visitors to the Parkes Shire region.
Parkes Shire Mayor, Cr Ken Keith OAM said, "we are delighted by the news that regional travel will resume in the coming weeks and are really looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the Parkes Shire - however, we do need to ensure that both our visitors and community are kept safe. We urge holidaymakers to please respect the NSW Health guidelines, stay home if you are sick, and practice good hygiene and social distancing."
"Some of our iconic experiences and attractions are still on the road to re-opening, so please plan ahead by connecting with the Parkes Visitor Information Centre who can provide you with the latest updates for our region."
"Rest assured that the local businesses currently operating are doing so under new protocols and are implementing COVID-19 control measures."
The ease of restrictions coincides with the development of a new Central West tourism campaign to launch on 1 June 2020 - encouraging people to think about planning a visit in the future.
The Parkes Shire has teamed up with 10 other Local Government Areas (LGAs) for the 'We Want You Back' campaign, which will target the visiting friends and relatives (VFR) market. The VFR market makes up 35 to 40 percent of travellers to the region.
The campaign will feature a number of local ambassadors, showcasing what they personally love about their hometown through visual storytelling. The aim is to create a personal connection between the locals and travellers.
Parkes Shire Mayor, Cr Ken Keith OAM said “After being cooped up at home for the last few months, people are eager to get out and explore - many looking to reconnect with loved ones as a priority."
"The 'We Want You Back' campaign aims to invite the friends and family of our local residents back to the Parkes Shire - inspiring them to start dreaming about and planning a regional adventure now."
Filming took place in Parkes this week, featuring two local identities who will showcase the Shire's quirky experiences, iconic attractions and unique character that make Parkes all add up for a memorable holiday experience.
Home grown events and marketing specialist and daughter of the Parkes Elvis Festival founders Bob and Ann Steel, Tiffany Steel will highlight the heritage and pop culture experiences and boutique accommodation, shopping and dining options; while well known local business owner of Moo Ma's Milk, Jim O'Donoghue will highlight the range family fun and adventure experiences that our region has to offer.
Renowned videographer Andrew Barnes has been commissioned to capture the content including a series of video interviews and beautiful imagery.
The campaign will be launched next week across social and digital media channels and supported by a public relations campaign.
The LGAs being featured in the campaign include Bathurst, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Lithgow, Oberon, Orange, Parkes and Weddin, supported by Central NSW Joint Organisation and Destination Country and Outback.
Local businesses and members of the community can also join in the social campaign by sharing what they love about the Parkes Shire region by tagging @VisitParkesRegion on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and using the #wewantyouback.
Domestic VFR visitation accounts for 37% of NSW domestic overnight visitors and spent over $3.3 billion. Accommodation may be hosted but they spend more in cafes, restaurants, attractions, shops, gifts and on local produce. VFR visitor expenditure in NSW has grown 23.9%, about twice holiday expenditure (12.5%). Intrastate visitors stay with hosts on average 4.1 nights. (sources NVS March 2016).