It’s been a welcome return to tourism in Mallacoota.
Arguably the East Gippsland town hit hardest by bushfires and COVID- 19, the easing of restrictions over the past fortnight has seen an influx of visitors to the town.
Denise Evans, at Shady Gully Caravan Park, was extremely pleased to welcome back visitors.
“Since relaxation of rules in regional areas, the phone started ringing immediately after announcements were made,” she said.
“The school holidays and good weather added to the high number of bookings. It will be a little quieter after the holidays.
“Regional tourists come for the fishing. Hopefully the Christmas regular bookings will go ahead as normal.”
Amelia Hammond, who owns a property management agency and also completes renovations and refurbishments for private properties, said a lot of people had booked into her accommodation and asked for extensions of their stay two or three days.
“After arrival they were happy to move to different accommodation for the extra days, due to previous bookings,” she said.
Amelia had a lot of newcomers this time, with many visitors from Bairnsdale, Paynesville and Sale.
Amelia’s Hammond Property Services has eight houses and units at the top end of the market and the phone was ringing as soon as the school holidays/travel announcements were declared.
“Many of the guests advised that they had made the trip for emotional support reasons for Mallacoota,” Amelia said.
“We are accepting bookings, but are not accepting deposits at present, due to the paperwork involved in making refunds. A case of wait and see.”
Some smaller accommodation places did not take bookings.
The Silver Bream Motel is almost at full capacity with contract workers.
Some people who had their property destroyed during the bushfires are also staying in motel units.
Other small accommodation places did have visitors staying, verifying that their address was within the regional zone.
Mallacoota Foreshore Caravan Park had a lot of visitors for the school holidays. People from the region took advantage of the lifting of restrictions and the good weather. PICTURED: Mark Whykes, Nikky Hodak, Cassie Wigg, Hayley Wigg and Jason Wigg.