THE fact that almost three million overnight visitors stayed in the Central West last year who spent upwards of $1.2 billion is absolutely no accident, tourism experts say.
Tourist numbers to the region have jumped by 13 per cent year-on-year, while the amount they spent spiked by 25 per cent.
Data from the latest National Visitor Survey has ranked Central NSW as the 14th most visited spot in Australia during 2018 based on overnight visitors.
Last year 2,884,000 overnight visitors stayed in the region, this was up 13 per cent on the 2,545,000 who came to stay in 2017.
During 2018 they spent $1.2 billion in the region, this was up significantly (25 per cent) on the $970 million they spent during 2017.
Destination Country and Outback NSW Tourism Network general manager Lucy White said these numbers were no surprise and were the result of a concerted and collaborative effort by all levels of government, tourism operators and business.
Regional NSW is a really compelling destination for people.Destination Country and Outback NSW Tourism Network general manager Lucy White
"A lot of work has been done in the past few years," she said.
"Regional NSW is a really compelling destination for people."
The number of daytrippers to the region is also significant with 3,004,000 last year, which was a -1.7 per cent decline on the 3,057,000 during 2017.
Despite this, the money they spent increased, with $446m in 2018, compared to $408m in 2017.
Ms White said state and federal government support in growing Central NSW tourism had been significant in recent years.
She said the region offered up a wide range of tourist experiences, including: food, wine, heritage, adventure, nature, festivals and events.
"The only things we don't have is the snow and the coast," she said.
"Travellers don't look for a particular destination, in NSW they look for experiences."
Central NSW Joint Organisation chair John Medcalf was also not surprised by data in the report.
"I'm very pleased it's happening, it means we're doing our job in encouraging people to come out here," he said.
He said events, including the: Parkes Elvis Festival, Trundle ABBA Festival, Orange's FOOD Week and the Bathurst 1000 race week all played a part in bringing large numbers of visitors to the region.
Mr Medcalf said sky-high house prices in Sydney could also be forcing people out and they may just be spending some time in the Central West to "try it out" before they moved to the region.