Locals divided on tourism spending

Michael R Williams

Despite increasing fuel and grocery costs, more than two-thirds of local vendors have claimed tourists have been more or quickly willing to spend in comparison to last year.

The overarching narrative has been that due to rain, the election, and the opening of international borders many tourists were “waiting and seeing” before making their trip to the central west.

However, over the past week, numbers have skyrocketed to match last year and unexpectedly, tourists have been spending more on more expensive items.

Many vendors stated this may be due to the perception that Covid was reaching its conclusion and consumer confidence was actually growing despite news of rising inflation.

Another perception was that there was a growing sense of nationalism toward spending, with many realising the importance of spending on Australian-made products.

Birdcage owner Gavin Ballard said tourists have been more than ever willing to support local businesses.

Commercial Hotel owner Matt Hunt said, “they’re still spending on piss, so they’re still spending”.

Still, a large number of local vendors had teetered between the same and less spending—particularly vendors who sell groceries or low-cost items.