COVID 19 restrictions have slammed the tourism industry with smaller regions feeling it the most.
The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show international arrivals have dropped by 99.2% compared to this time last year leaving many regions without visitors.
Andrew Hope Mayor of Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) said agritourism could be the key to enticing Australians to explore their own backyard whilst diversifying and keeping local businesses alive.
"Agritourism provides great opportunities for local farm businesses to value add to their
operations, generating additional income for farms and at the same time helping bridge the
the isolation they often face," said Mayor Hope.
LPSC is collaborating with the NSW Office of Small Business Commissioner to further develop the potential for Agritourism in the Shire.
"The aim is to have an agritourism trail in the Liverpool Plains Shire, with the businesses working together, sharing resources, cross-promoting and bundling together what is on offer,” Mayor Hope said.
Heritage-listed Windy Station has already signed up to be involved and owners David and Clare Lee have ambitious plans to turn the historic woolshed (pictured above) into a conference centre with accommodation.
“Other agritourism activities being developed are many and diverse and examples include bed and breakfast accommodation, weddings, restaurants, farm educational tours, shopfront outlets, art and photography workshops and farm gate sales,” said Mayor Hope.
Mayor Hope said he couldn't pick favourites however there are several significant things to see and do in the Shire including the Rail Heritage Museum at Werris Creek and one the only relocations of Aboriginal grinding stones.
Mayor Hope reiterated that whilst they hope to entice people into the Shire, it's important COVID-19 restrictions are followed.
"We are encouraging people to travel where it's safe. Obviously, if you're coming out of a hot spot or you're feeling ill then, please don't travel and be respectful of everyone," said Mayor Hope.
Image 2 - Visitors to the LP Shire learn about shearing and the wool industry at Windy Station.
image 3 - Will you marry me? The Shire has had a number of people from the metropolitan areas visit to propose surrounded by a sea of sunflowers. Anyone
wishing to do likewise should ring Nikki at the LPS Visitor Information Centre on 6747 1226 to arrange permission from farmers to enter their paddocks.