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First ever Berrigan Shire tourism, economic survey shows success

A Berrigan Shire survey has revealed that the peak Christmas and New Year season proved to be a ‘‘good strong season’’.

HANNAH NICHOLS January 29, 2014 4:17am

In a first for the shire, a ‘Christmas and New Year Business Survey’ was issued as a way to gather statistics on the season.

Berrigan Shire economic development officer Merran Socha said the survey was a way to produce information for comparison on how each season goes.

‘‘The aim is to have a record that is more than anecdotal evidence,’’ she said.

‘‘The survey aims to get people’s opinions.

‘‘We are trying to get an overall picture on how business was during Christmas and New Year.

‘‘The survey, while being about ‘tourism’, is also about business.’’

Mrs Socha said she was happy with the 51 responses received – 22 business operators from Finley, 19 business operators from Tocumwal, nine business operators from Barooga and one business nominated other.

‘‘Full credit goes to the Chambers which pushed it around to members,’’ she said.

‘‘Of course we would have loved more, but for the first time I was pleased.’’

The report suggests that 65 per cent of respondents either met or exceeded their expected turnover and 35 per cent of respondents had a turnover that was below or well below expectations.

Mrs Socha said the vast majority of respondents agreed their town was busy and that the river was busy with campers.

She said a few felt it was less busy, but the overall consensus was that it was a strong year.

‘‘At the moment there are no actual statistics for comparison,’’ Mrs Socha said.

‘‘My feeling indicates it was a good year, and going by the comments and the results that was the general feeling.

‘‘Most people were quite happy with the season.’’

The results report was released late last week in an effort to inform business and encourage future participation.

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