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Wotif research finds Dubbo, Orange top trending destinations to visit

Kasey Clark, Levi Rushbrook and Jamayne Clark at Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
Kasey Clark, Levi Rushbrook and Jamayne Clark at Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

New data has revealed that central west NSW is fast becoming a top trending destination to visit.

The latest data from online travel company Wotif.com has revealed the top 10 trending school holiday destinations, with Orange ranking second and travel interest up over 400 per cent.

While the city of Dubbo ranked fifth and travel interest up over 260 per cent.

Wotif managing director Daniel Finch said authentic, regional hospitality in smaller towns is so strong and helping to drive that visitor experience.

"For people who are from larger cities or metro hubs, it (regional hospitality) isn't something they probably experienced for a very long time," he said.

"You realise that is the heart and soul of these towns. To walk into a shop and feel special while getting some produce from people producing it... it's an experience..."

Mr Finch said from the research Dubbo has shown to be one of the most family friendly country towns in Australia, that accommodates the whole family.

"It's got a great food and beverage culture.... not only do you have the Zoo, but there's historical places like the (Old Dubbo) Gaol, Botanical Gardens... plus the cultural places like the Japanese Gardens," he explained.

"Those things are giving you a multi-sense experience which is so valuable."

Mr Finch said Australian's are not always looking for cheap holidays, but value for money, which the city provides.

"They walk away from a town like Dubbo feeling like they really did get bang for their buck," he said.

Findings from the research found almost half (45 per cent) of Australian families would like to keep away from the crowds, while 41 per cent of families also plan to travel regionally on their next getaway.

The majority of Australian's (82 per cent) feel responsibility to support Australian tourism, local communities and small businesses.

Over half (53 per cent) believe we need to make the most of 2020 and support local Australian tourism

The Wotif managing director believes the regional destination trend will continue into the future and that people are now looking to holiday here rather than overseas.

"Seventy-six of people that we surveyed said they will potentially look at travelling in Australia within the next two years and beyond," Mr Finch said.

"Eighty-two per cent of those people said even when international travel restrictions are lifted their commitment will remain here for their travel in Australia. It's a great long-term sustainable outlook.

"I think it gives us great hope that we're on the right track..."