Hotels in Port Macquarie are already booking out for the school holidays as Sydney and Newcastle residents escape their homes to take an extended break on the Mid North Coast.
Macquarie Waters hotel manager Jess Isaac said there has been stronger bookings this year than the same time in 2019.
"We are fully booked for the whole of the school holidays. There's not two consecutive days at all from July 3 to July 18," Mrs Isaac said.
"Every weekend we have been fully booked since we re-opened. It's definitely picked up considering during the COVID lockdowns we were running at an occupancy of 10 per cent.
"This month we are running at 60 per cent, which is actually better than last June. Everyone was all locked up so they just want to be out of the house for a break.
"It's mainly people from Sydney, the Central Coast and Newcastle who are booking. There are some people from out west and a trickle from Queensland coming for the school holidays."
Visiting tourist from Sydney, Raphael George, said his family had stayed an extra few days in Port Macquarie to see the sights.
"We have come up from Sydney for a few nights here (Port Macquarie) and a few nights in the Hunter, just to get away from it," he said.
"It's Samuel's first time at the zoo in Port Macquarie and it's a good place. It will be good for him to come back when he's a bit older to discover new things."
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Rydges Port Macquarie and Sails Port Macquarie by Rydges spokeswoman Amanda Roberts said there has been a steady increase in bookings with a lot of walk in guests.
"Our occupancy is stronger than what we had forecast," she said.
"The upcoming two week NSW school holiday period is also looking good with strong enquiry and bookings continuing.
"It's certainly lifting our team's spirit after what has been a tough few months and we look forward to seeing the flow on effect to local businesses and attractions."
Reyhana Turkish Restaurant manager and owner Yesha Avsar said cafes and restaurants in Port Macquarie are extremely grateful for the community support to keep them alive.
"Since the restrictions we have been seeing more traffic through the restaurant, but because of the social distancing we still cannot use our space to its full capacity," she said.
"Our takeaway business has been extremely strong, the town has been very supportive and we have been very blessed.
"Come school holidays from next week we will be seeing many different faces which will be great for business but up until now we have just had local support.
"As a Reyhana team we thank all the other businesses in town. We have such an awesome community and we are so thankful that people can see the hard work we do to stay alive and continue paying wages.
"Just a thank you to everyone who has supported us."
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Greater Port Macquarie Tourism Association president Janette Hyde said the region is experiencing an increase in tourism bookings.
"Port Macquarie, Camden Haven and Wauchope are now buzzing with positive energy, particularly experienced on the long weekend in June," Mrs Hyde said.
"The bookings are heavy for the school holidays. Accommodation operators are now open for business.
"Most of our major attractions are now open, Billabong Zoo, Port Adventure Cruises, Port Jet Whale Watching and River Cruises, Majestic Theatre, to name a few.
"We have so many diverse activities. Great trails, wineries and breweries, heritage, nature, food - fresh produce and cafes and restaurants."
The current level of interest is a stark contrast to conditions during the coronavirus lockdown, Mrs Hyde said.
"All of the accommodation operators were not able to accept bookings, with the exception of bonafide essential workers," she said.
"Attractions were closed. Cafes and restaurants were offering limited takeaway and delivery services.
"Our locals were very loyal with their support for the businesses that were operating, and the businesses who were open were very appreciative."