12,000 expected for Easter in the Country
A PUSH by the State Government to 'go west' is expected to drive more people to Easter in the Country celebrations this year, in what will be a boost to Roma's economy and morale.
Up to 12,000 people will flock to the motels, campgrounds, and homes of family and friends for the 42nd annual event.
Roma Chamber of Commerce president Cyril Peet said businesses throughout the region are set to benefit from the influx of visitors.
"The government push into outback tourism has definitely helped us, and we're drawing more people in from the city,” Mr Peet said.
"I'm hoping that this year, because the motels are pretty full, we should have a lot of people in town.
"Our hospitality industry will definitely get a boost over the weekend, and hopefully retail will pick up. I think we will up last year's benchmark, it's looking promising.”
Easter In The Country is estimated to have brought millions of tourism dollars into the southwest throughout the years.
Visit Roma Inc president Charlie Eames, owner of Roma Central Motels, said accommodation occupancy was "pretty solid across the board”.
"Most places in town still have some vacancy. Friday night for the most part is almost close to 100 per cent. Saturday, there are still vacancies at some places, and then on Sunday it drops to around 60 per cent, and that's pretty consistent around town,” Mr Eames said.
"We find there are some people travelling through Roma on their way to somewhere else because of school holidays, and we tell them about Easter in the Country to try and encourage them to stay an extra night.”
Celeste Palmer from Roma Gun Club Caravan and Camping Park said it was almost at full capacity.
"We usually only have 44 sites, but we were asked by (the) council to add an extra 15 when they got fully booked,” Ms Palmer said.