ABOUT 7600 people walked through the doors of the Orange Visitor Information Centre during December, but they were not all visitors, according to council’s tourism manager Glenn Mickle.
He said “a fair percentage” were residents of the area who panicked at the last minute when relatives from metropolitan areas came to visit over the Christmas period.
“What a better place to go than to the city’s information centre,” Mr Mickle said.
He said families were advised to take visiting relatives to Lake Canobolas, where kids could have a swim and adults could appreciate the country atmosphere, the aquatic centre and Mount Canobolas.
But the most sought-after activity was cherry picking.
“One orchard had about 700 people there picking cherries for themselves,” Mr Mickle said.
There were 7656 visitors through the doors, and Mr Mickle said this reflected about 15 to 20 per cent of the number of visitors to Orange over December.
That would mean about 38,280 visitors came to Orange during December.
The population of Orange, according to the 2011 census, is 38,057 people.
“But now it is hard to tell, because a lot of people just rely on Google rather than stopping in,” Mr Mickle said.
There were about 300 people through the doors in the week between Christmas and New Year.
This was down from December last year when there were 8300 through the Visitor Information Centre, but Mr Mickle said he suspected the reduction had a lot to do with people resorting to the internet.
As a result, council had made plans to develop a smart phone application about Orange, which Mr Mickle hoped would be finished by the end of the year.