Dubbo tourism operators launch multi attraction pass to boost local economy

ENCOURAGING RESPONSE: Mary Cochrane and Geoff Fisher spent one night in Dubbo but say they'll likely be back again after hearing about the Great Big Adventure Pass. Photo: RYAN YOUNG
ENCOURAGING RESPONSE: Mary Cochrane and Geoff Fisher spent one night in Dubbo but say they'll likely be back again after hearing about the Great Big Adventure Pass. Photo: RYAN YOUNG

Tourists say they'll spend more nights and more money in the region because one ticket offering cheaper entry to four iconic attractions is going on sale in September.

Instead of having to buy four different tickets, the Great Big Adventure Pass is all tourists will need to get into the Wellington Caves, Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Old Dubbo Gaol and soon-to-be opened Royal Flying Doctor Service visitor experience.

The final price of the pass hasn't been determined but Taronga Western Plains Zoo director Steve Hinks said "it will represent a significant saving versus buying each of the four tickets individually at the attractions".

At an event to launch the pass - which will include the offer of additional discounts at participating businesses - Mr Hinks said the pass would be sold at each attraction and through the Dubbo Visitor Centre.

"Tourism is not just about visitors coming to a place like Dubbo, sleeping in a hotel and visiting the zoo," he said.

"Tourism's about people getting out, going to restaurants, cafes, retail outlets, putting petrol in their cars at local petrol stations and all of these things which inject over $300 million worth of income into our local economy each and every year."

Mr Hinks said most tourists spend about two nights in Dubbo but it's hoped they will spend more time and money in the region once they have access to the new pass.

While about four million tourists entered Sydney Airport last year "incredibly less than 40,000 actually made it across the mountains into Western and Central NSW", Mr Hinks said.

"I am desperate to see Dubbo recognised as the number one family holiday destination in NSW, if not Australia."

Mr Hinks said the pass has been in the works for 18 months and he praised the efforts of everyone who came together to help make it a reality.

"It's a genuine collaboration between three organisations - [the NSW Government owned] Taronga Western Plains Zoo, the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Dubbo Regional Council [which owns the Old Dubbo Gaol and Wellington Caves]," he said.

JOINT EFFORT: Taronga Western Plains Zoo director Steve Hinks, state Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders, Dubbo Region mayor Ben Shields and Dubbo's Royal Flying Doctor Service base manager Kendall Graham launch the ticket. Photo: RYAN YOUNG

JOINT EFFORT: Taronga Western Plains Zoo director Steve Hinks, state Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders, Dubbo Region mayor Ben Shields and Dubbo's Royal Flying Doctor Service base manager Kendall Graham launch the ticket. Photo: RYAN YOUNG

Mary Cochrane and Geoff Fisher are tourists from Yass who were at the zoo when the pass was launched on Tuesday.

"We came here for the zoo and we've had one night here because we've got limited time," Mrs Cochrane said.

When asked if they would consider returning to see more of Dubbo if they had extra time and access to something like the Great Big Adventure Pass, Mr Fisher said "definitely... I reckon we would".

Video: Fun places the pass can be used