Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Busy summer for Cobram Barooga

Tourists are flocking to our riverside town, providing a welcome boost to local businesses.

TONI BRIENT January 13, 2014 4:00am

Young explorers: (from left) Harry Wallington from Sydney, Bailey Edge from East Ringwood, Jordan Edge from Mooroolbark and Tyler Edge from East Ringwood enjoyed paddling in their boats.

Cobram Barooga businesses are recording a busy tourist season, with holiday-makers flocking to the area during the Christmas and New Year period.

RACV Cobram Resort manager Gary Hunt said about 200 people had stayed on the grounds during the summer period to date.

‘‘We can’t physically put any more people in,’’ Mr Hunt said.

‘‘From an occupancy point of view, we’ll probably hit 90 (bookings) by the whole of January.’’

Cobram Colonial Motor Inn owner Jennie Gould said this season was her best in a decade.

‘‘This has probably been our busiest year we’ve had, and we’ve been here for 10 years,’’ Mrs Gould said.

Cobram Willows Caravan Park owner Judy Crow said it had been a great season for the park, which almost filled its 35 caravan sites and 12 cabins.

Cobram East Caravan Park owner Bob Henry said the park was at about 90 per cent capacity.

Mr Henry said lots of people stored their caravans at the park during winter, and more people had collected their vans to camp on the Murray River than last year.

‘‘The media down in Melbourne portrayed the Murray to be flooded (last year),’’ he said.

‘‘I reckon the river’s really good this year and noticed a lot of vans went out.’’

Brolgaroo Caravan Park in Barooga had most cabins and caravans filled, said owner Lynne Kohler.

But Mrs Kohler said there was one noticeable absence this year.

‘‘We had a lot of backpackers last year and we don’t have them this year,’’ Mrs Kohler said.

‘‘It’s a slow (picking) season, that’s what we take of it.’’

The stellar season reflects figures released by Tourism Victoria and Deloitte Access Economics last week, which revealed tourism contributed $1.67billion to the Murray region’s gross regional product during 2011-12.

Tourism accounted for 13 per cent of the area’s total GRP and contributed to the employment of more than 15000 people, the study found.

Victorian Tourism Minister Louise Asher said it was clear tourism was an important industry for the state’s regions.

‘‘Regional Victoria has a greater reliance on the tourism sector than Melbourne,’’ Ms Asher said.

‘‘As a labour intensive industry, tourism also contributes significantly to regional development through employment generation ... with more people employed in tourism in regional Victoria than in Melbourne.’’

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