Busy, bustling and vibrant

COOMA has been described as busy, bustling and a vibrant tourism town over the Christmas holidays by the manager of the Cooma Visitors Centre Donna Smith.

A survey conducted by the Centre found many local businesses had experienced good visitation rates across the Christmas, New Year and school holiday period.

Mrs Smith said with more cafes, restaurants and retail outlets open during public holidays and a number of major events scheduled for the time of year Cooma was a "bustling and vibrant tourist town".

Trade on the weekend before New Year's Day was particularly good and described as 'phenomenal' by a number of eateries, cafes and retail outlets in Cooma.

Mrs Smith said the Visitors Centre had expected high visitation over that weekend and had its busiest day on December 28.

"We were well prepared with extra staff rostered on and we had also organised a lovely day of live music in the Centennial Park with local artists Jay Podger, Sophie Newell and Hannah Newell," Mrs Smith said.

While respondents to the survey reported good to great trade, accommodation results were mixed.

"Accommodation results were mixed with some motels reporting quiet but expected low occupancy rates but were pleased with forward January bookings," Mrs Smith said.

"Other accommodations including B&Bs and caravan parks were very pleased with the holiday season trade and reported very high occupancies and several fully booked nights."

Mrs Smith said visitors into the Centre were slightly down for the Christmas and New Year period, but very good for the week leading up to Christmas- the best in eight years.

She said visitors heading into information centres were stagnating or decreasing across Australia.

"People's need for visitor information hasn't disappeared, it's just changing. Visits to our tourism website visitcooma.com.au have increased significantly over the last two years, with visits to the site for December up by 40 per cent on previous years and for January so far visits are already up by 58 per cent," Mrs Smith said.

Most visitors to the centre were local tourists, followed by international tourists. German visitors were the largest nation represented.

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