Prince William and his wife Catherine’s trip to the Blue Mountains has not only lifted spirits in the fire-ravaged region but boosted its bottom line.
Some 2500 people crammed into Echo Point when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the tourist site earlier this month.
And now, just under a fortnight later, the operators are thanking them.
Tourist site Scenic World recorded a 20 per cent increase on the same time last year, with more than 20,000 visitors through the gates throughout Easter and Anzac Day period.
Coupled with the holidays and an exhibition launch, the royals have helped revive the attraction’s numbers, head of marketing Amanda Bryne said.
Meanwhile, Wotif.com experienced a 14 per cent surge in accommodation bookings for the period after the royal visit leading up to Anzac Day.
With majestic shots of the Three Sisters beamed across the world, Blue Mountains Tourism CEO Randall Walker said the media coverage of the high-profile guests was “absolutely priceless”.
He said visitors to the area typically averaged 11,000 tourists a day – a figure that “evaporated” after the October bushfires.
While numbers have been steadily climbing back to their peak, the arrival of the regal couple helped deliver record rates over the long weekends.
As well as injecting some much needed revenue into the community’s businesses, Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill said the visit had lifted morale.
He said the young couple’s visit was the perfect antidote for the region, which had lost 500 jobs as a direct consequence of the fires.
“It says the world hasn’t forgotten,” he said.
“That people have gone through hell and are recovering from that.”