Wagga hoteliers do not believe the new $50 accommodation vouchers will attract tourists to the region but they do think it could bring other positives.
The NSW Government is currently rolling out its $250 million Stay NSW program, designed to bolster the state's struggling tourism sector.
Under the program all adults across the state are eligible to receive a $50 voucher which they can use while booking stays at participating hotels, motels and caravan parks.
Half a dozen visitors have already redeemed their vouchers at Bolton on the Park, but manager Murray Gabriel said he would be surprised if the vouchers were enough to spark impromptu holidays.
"What it is doing however is it's encouraging people to spend more," he said. "Rather than booking a standard room they might book a premium room or something more expensive."
This sentiment was shared by Stephen Mullins, the accommodation manager for the Rules Club Quality Hotel.
"I don't know if the vouchers alone will entice people to stay but I think maybe people will stay longer than they would have," Mr Mullins said.
Both hotel managers admitted the travel restrictions in place over the last two years had impacted their businesses, with Mr Gabriel describing the pandemic as a "rollercoaster" for the accommodation industry.
IN OTHER NEWS:
But the rollout of the vouchers and the major events that took place in Wagga over the weekend mean things are looking up for the hotels.
"It's definitely positive going forwards," Mr Mullins said. "Advance bookings are reasonably strong and enquiries for groups and events are strong as well."
It is expected more people will be putting the vouchers to use over the coming weeks as they become more widely available.
The NSW Government has adopted a staggered rollout for the program, with Wagga-based residents not eligible to receive their vouchers until March 1.
This is despite residents in other parts of the state, including Albury, receiving access to their vouchers from February 21.
"I think it will definitely pick up when more people are able to access [their vouchers]," Mr Gabriel said.
Information on how to apply for the vouchers is available on the Service NSW website.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.