The Gunnedah shire has embraced a fresh flow of funds amid the drought.
The 33rd Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA) National Rally has buoyed Gunnedah’s businesses, with about 1400 people hitting the town’s shops and eateries over eight days.
Gunnedah and District Chamber of Commerce representative Lisa Davis said there had been plenty of positive feedback.
“A lot of retailers have loved seeing so much foot traffic,” she said.
Mrs Davis said the impact on businesses was a “mixed bag”, with some doing a roaring trade and others not reporting much of a change.
“Some businesses reported the best week of business ever since opening their doors,” she said.
Stores that have strongly benefited from the rally include those selling giftware and ladies wear, including sponsor Willow and Fli, which is expecting more than 300 RV owners for a fashion parade and morning tea on Friday.
Chamber president Stacey Cooke said it was “a reflection on businesses that have made an effort” to encourage visitors to visit their premises.
“This has now made us aware of what it can bring to the town,” she said.
Mrs Cooke said rally manager Paul Flynn had attended a chamber meeting ahead of the event and the chamber had voted to band together and get behind it.
“It’s been an uphill battle, but [the chamber] achieved it for us,” Mr Flynn said.
The rally manager said sometimes towns weren’t prepared for the influx of visitors and cited one circumstance where a town ran out of food and funds.
“[Sometimes] businesses don’t comprehend what’s coming to town and if they don’t catch it, they will miss out,” he said.
This has now made us aware of what it can bring to the town.Stacey Cooke, Gunnedah Chamber of Commerce
Mr Flynn said Gunnedah’s response to the rally had been “brilliant”.
“All the business houses are on board,” he said.
The rally manager said word of mouth was “the strongest thing out there”.
“If you’ve got a good business, [visitors] will get behind you,” he said.
“This [rally] attracts people before and after… If they’ve had a good time, they will come back.”