News / Community / Business / 31st March 2021
Covid's unexpected tourism boom
While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the world’s population lives day-to-day, it hasn’t entirely negative in regional NSW.
With overseas travel out of the question, Australians have been forced to holiday in their own backyards.
Coonabarabran has been no different, with the town fielding an influx of visitors - some holidaying, others trying to avoid highly populated areas.
Several local business owners have reaped the benefits and, in turn, so have job seekers in the area.
Milroy Observatory’s Donna "the astronomer" Burton has been so inundated with tourists and visitors she has had to seek help to run her business.
“It’s picked up so much I had to hire a few helpers,” Mrs Burton said.
“I’ve had a couple of youngsters who are back from uni who were looking for a job.
“We’re not getting the international travellers we were getting before COVID, but we’re pretty much all booked out over Easter - which is great.”
Ms Burton’s workforce consists of 17 to 23 year-olds and she said she was even looking at providing some traineeships for prospective employees.
“It’s a good job, it’s an interesting job,” she said.
“If I can offer some traineeships in tour guiding it would be beneficial to those people.
“It would be a great qualification to have and would serve uni students well - during a gap year they could easily get a job with a qualification like that.”