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Economic tourism injection set to continue this weekend

Easter break in Deniliquin hailed biggest ever.

TYLA HARRINGTON April 25, 2014 3:10am

Easter in Deniliquin is being lauded as the biggest and busiest four-day weekend in the town’s history.

Riding on the success of the second Blues & Roots Festival, which pulled in a crowd of close to 8000 people, Deniliquin Council manager economic and business development John Harvie said it was the most people he had seen in the central business district in a long time.

He had also heard the same report from many other people and business owners, adding that he expects the economic tourism injection to continue this weekend with today’s Anzac Day public holiday creating another long weekend.

Deputy Mayor Ashley Hall agreed, saying the town was ‘‘the busiest we’ve ever seen it’’ at Easter, while Mayor Lindsay Renwick rated it ‘‘the best weekend of my whole life’’.

‘‘I would be surprised if businesses didn’t have one of the best trading weekends they’ve had,’’ Mr Harvie said.

‘‘The ArtOut event, Rotary Easter Art Show, Bald Archy exhibition and other events all contributed to a huge weekend for the town.

‘‘We had full accommodation. The visitors will talk about Deniliquin and word of mouth is the best promotion,’’ he said.

The influx of people has been attributed to the Blues Festival, which was held over Saturday and Sunday at the Deniliquin Ute Muster site on Conargo Rd.

Mr Harvie praised festival organisers for promoting Deniliquin and encouraging patrons to make the trip into town, which many did.

He also said the Deniliquin Visitor Information Centre, Deniliquin Business Chamber and council worked in well together to ensure visitors were aware of all of the Easter events and that businesses were open to serve customers.

‘‘I want to congratulate all people in Deni on the way they conducted themselves,’’ Mr Harvie said.

‘‘A number of visitors told me what a wonderful welcome they received.

‘‘Business houses also made the most of the opportunity. One cafe knew they wouldn’t be able to cope with the demand of people so they set up outdoor takeaway coffee. We want businesses to be thinking like that.’’

Long-time Deniliquin tourism officer Denise Thomas said she was amazed at how busy Deniliquin was.

She was particularly surprised to see the constant flow of visitors throughout town across the four-day Easter break and not just for one day.

‘‘Everyone has been overwhelmed with what a wonderful weekend we had,’’ Mrs Thomas said.

‘‘We were absolutely amazed. Everywhere was so busy, whether it was the festival, tennis tournament or the long list of other events.

~ continued page 5

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