By streamlining their check-in system, Warrnambool’s tourism chiefs are claiming a win for tourists and local alike at the start of the city’s peak visitor season.
Text messages advising campers of their sites’ availability and gate entry codes, has reduced what traditionally was a Boxing Day headache for both travellers and locals alike.
Warrnambool City Council's visitor economy manager David McMahon said eased traffic conditions was hopefully just the start of a successful tourism period.
“We are expecting to have better numbers than last year,” he said. “I’ve spoken to a dozen industry providers today and they’re already going gang busters.”
Mr McMahon said Christmas Day falling on Monday meant holiday-makers had arrived on the weekend.
“This means they’ll arrive early and stay longer which is great for the city, and with the carnival set to start tonight, we’re ready.”
Warrnambool’s tourism figures reveal the city’s best promoters lie within its boundaries according to Mr McMahon.
“Sixty per cent of our tourism comes from visiting family and friends,” he said. “We really encourage everyone to invite family and friend to enjoy all the free events Warrnambool will offer over the summer.”
For holiday-maker food supplier Glen Scott of the Surfside and Shipwreck Coast Caravan Park kiosks, needs are easily met.
“Newspapers, ice and bread are the items we sell every day,” he said. “For the first couple of days they traditionally finish off their last crusts of bread, litre of milk and ham and salads.
“Then after two days they become part of the Warrnambool community.”
Mr Scott said during the city’s tourism peak, tourists at both holiday parks would have similar requirements.
“We’ll go through an average of 750 kilos of ice each day, 20 litres of slushies and 100 kilos of hot chips,” he said. “We’ll sell a few hundred icy poles when the weather warms up, just plain old icy poles for $1 each.”
As far as confectionery sales go, Mr Scott said anything with a ‘naughty name’ was most popular.
“Camel balls, fart eyes, possum poo, snot balls, they’re the clear favourites.”
Manager of the city’s iconic Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, Paul Pinkerton, said he hoped new attractions would lure visitors to the city’s tourism hub.
“We’ve got a new lolly shop on site, Warrnambool’s biggest beer garden at the ‘Steam Packet Inn’, ‘Wednesdays at the Wharf’, a New Year’s recovery session, and now you can grab cheese and wine platters at the tea shop.”
After two days they become part of the Warrnambool community.Glen Scott