Local support needed for Wangaratta businesses to fill void as tourists depart.
Gateway hotel 2
WAITING FOR THE SMOKE TO CLEAR: Quality Hotel Wangaratta Gateway staff members Karina Parr and Heather Hooper are hoping the smoke can clear and bushfires are put under control as soon as possible to encourage tourists to return to the rural city and wider North East. PHOTO: Nicholas Sinis

MOST Wangaratta retailers appear to be standing up well as the ongoing bushfire crisis decimates many North East tourism businesses.

Wangaratta mayor Cr Dean Rees said Wangaratta and surrounds that were not directly affected by fires have actually seen a rise in visitation, largely due to the Emergency Relief Centres located in Wangaratta.

The city’s Visitor Information Centre statistics are up by seven per cent.

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