Leeton's accommodation sector is coming out of hibernation and ready to welcome visitors with some from across the state as NSW continues to open up after more than four months locked down.
As NSW reached its goal of 70 percent and now 80 percent of the population being fully vaccinated, the NSW Roadmap out of lockdown has seen residents statewide enjoy more and more freedoms.
Any regional resident can now travel freely to other regional destinations however residents of Greater Sydney will need to wait until November 1 to visit country communities.
Mia and Wayne Bond own the Heritage Motor Inn and told The Irrigator that through lockdown they had seen less than half of the bookings for their 32 rooms they normally would of had.
"In the past few months we have been no where near close to the normal amount of bookings," Mr Bond said.
According to Mr Bond, the Heritage Motor Inn had fared better than other accommodation providers due to locum essential workers needing somewhere to stay whilst in town.
"We were very lucky and look forward to welcoming more visitors to Leeton, this next week will be the busiest week we have had in a long time!"
Manager of Motel Riverina Margaret Payne said that bookings had increased substantially, with many regulars from the region returning to Leeton to see family, friends and even just to visit.
"It's very exciting after a slow few months to welcome back our regulars," Mrs Payne said.
"We are ready to welcome people back from across the state, all these visitors are really great for our region."
General Manager of the Historic Hydro Motor Inn Anthony Boots said that thought of welcoming visitors back from Sydney and Melbourne was a 'scary proposition' but necessary.
"The biggest problem we face is that 70 percent of our bookings come from Sydney and Melbourne combined so until visitors are able to travel from these cities to the regions we will continue to struggle," Mr Boots said.
"If we want our business to succeed and want to function without government support, welcoming potential COVID-19 carriers to the regions is a necessary evil.
It's inevitable that COVID-19 will travel to Leeton so we are making sure we are ready, fully vaxxed and following COVID safe protocols to ensure our staff and community are kept as safe and healthy as possible."
More information about the Roadmap for the easing of COVID-19 restrictions can be found here.
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