After two desolate months, Orange's accommodation providers are hoping to leap out of hibernation over the long weekend as restrictions on legal travel are lifted from June 1.
Travel has been all but stopped since restrictions were put in place, but BnB Made Easy founder Tim Mortimer, who manages AirBnBs across Orange, was bullish on a strong second half of the year.
He said Orange's independence from international tourism meant the region wouldn't be as hard-hit as hubs such as the Gold Coast and Cairns which rely on overseas travellers.
Properties he manages have 80 bookings across the next two months - with the long weekend "completely booked", which is on par with recent years.
"It's a great feeling, we've been quite lucky in a lot of essential workers putting the DPI together or working at the hospital have been filling a few rooms but there'll be places which haven't seen a booking in two months," Mr Mortimer said.
He said the resurgence was partially due to people coming to see friends or family, "or just to get out of Sydney", with nearly 80 per cent of the traffic he sees coming to Orange visiting from the harbour city.
He said having bookings so soon despite a lack of events - or even certainty over which restaurants or pubs were open - were positive signs.
"Orange is a bit quieter in winter, people have holidays booked at either end of winter," he said.
"When people do come visit it's for things like the Bathurst Winter Festival, the Fire Festival we had last year or for sporting events and without them it's a bit quieter.
"There was a feeling that everyone was just waiting for the green light, and now it's turned on Orange is going to be busy again and that's really great to see."
Ambassador Hotel Orange owner and manager Renee Cullis said the outlook for the long weekend was looking "fantastic" after a dreary few months.
"We've had a lot of bookings, it's not quite full but it's looking fantastic," she said.
Mrs Cullis said the long-term prospects were also looking better, with bus trips making bookings for the back part of the year.
"The Bathurst races are still on at this stage so people are booking those," she said.
"We're optimistic. It could go the other way later but at this stage we're being optimistic."
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