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Bunbury businesses enjoy long weekend tourism boost

Bunbury businesses “couldn’t put it into words” how important it was for the regional borders to be opened in time for the WA Day long weekend.

Restaurants were booked out, queues extended outside cafes and the streets were bustling as thousands flocked south from Perth for a long weekend spent in the country following weeks of isolation in the Big Smoke.

The influx provided a much-needed boost to the local tourism, retail and hospitality industries, which were hit hard by coronavirus closures and restrictions.

Bunbury's roads were packed over the past few days with travellers visiting for the long weekend.
Camera IconBunbury’s roads were packed over the past few days with travellers visiting for the long weekend. Credit: Shannon Verhagen

The increased foot traffic was a welcome sight for Bronwyn Snelling, who co-owns floristry and artisan store Green Depot on Victoria Street.

“This weekend’s been really busy,” she said. “Lots of people wandering around, lots of traffic and everyone’s in a pretty good mood which has been awesome.

“I think because the traffic was probably quite busy on the roads, people were happy to take their time and actually stop and get lunch, get a coffee and spend a little bit more time (in Bunbury) rather than just a quick stop before keeping going.”

Green Depot co-owners Bronwyn Snelling and Kim Ridge were excited to welcome so many new people to their store at the weekend.
Camera IconGreen Depot co-owners Bronwyn Snelling and Kim Ridge were excited to welcome so many new people to their store at the weekend. Credit: Shannon Verhagen

Ms Snelling said traffic came from both directions — those heading south from Perth as well as those heading north from spots like Margaret River — and she was pleased to see so many people around town.

We’ve had quite a few people come into the shop that hadn’t been here before. We love it. We love people coming in and just having a chat.

Melo Velo bike specialist Graham Adams said the number of people out and about in the CBD was incredible and over the whole weekend, there had not been one grumpy customer, with everyone just happy to be out and about.

It’s been flat out — it’s been amazing.

He said it was hard to find the right words for just how important it was that the regional borders were opened in time for the three-day break, not only for the local businesses but for the general mental health and wellbeing of people.

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