The return of regional and interstate travel has boosted optimism among businesses in and nearby Broken Hill.
The removal of distance limits in NSW and further easing of border restrictions for people vaccinated against COVID-19 have many operators excited for the future.
Karen De Franceschi, manager of the Lake View Caravan Park, welcomed the rule changes.
“We are always happy when more restrictions are removed,” she said. “Then we can get back to some form of normality.”
The caravan park on Mann Street has already noticed an influx of tourists from Victoria and is keen to see people from other states arrive.
“We are happy to have anyone from any region,” Ms De Franceschi said.
“Previous months we’ve had people waiting borders to open – now people are travelling.
“Hopefully with the SA border opening up, we’ll see more South Australian people.”
Since the start of November, the number of campers has varied with 20 mobile homes the highest stationed at the site at once so far.
At the Silverton Hotel, management have also witnessed an increase in visitors to the area.
Publican Peter Price said business has picked up over the past fortnight since travel has returned.
“It’s slowly building up and we could be in for a big summer,” he said. “Every opportunity we are getting we are cranking it up.”
The hotel catered for about 120 meals earlier this week as it heats up to pre-Covid service levels.
As the Christmas-New Year’s period approaches, Mr Price expects it to be a tasty time for the venue.
“We’d probably pick up mid-next month,” he said. “I’m hoping we’ll see a lot more turn out that would work for us, but time will tell.”
The hotel reopened on October 11 and has steadily regained customers that has recently included guests from Greater Sydney and Victoria.
The 12 core staff members are ready to handle the festive period and have not had issues with patrons COVID-19 vaccination passports.
“We are looking forward to it and we’ll welcome them to our region,” Mr Price said.
“It’s been an extra demand on our business, but we’ll have to live it.”
With over 100 spots available to book at the Lake View site, Ms De Franceschi hopes tourists and ex-locals will fill up the site next month.
“If the majority are booked out that’s fine,” she said. “Around Christmas and after that it should start picking up.”