Signs of an economic recovery in Ararat are slowly, but surely, beginning to show.
Ararat tour bus operator Brendan Kaczynski is already receiving bookings for Australian tours in 2021.
"People are calling now and wanting next year's brochure," he said.
"There is going to be more people travelling around Australia than jumping on a plane and going overseas somewhere.
"I think the buses will fill up ... we have our whole tour program organised already for next year.
"The more the restrictions ease the more the phone will start to ring."
Brendan's Australian Tours provides coach tours to the Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland.
This year, Mr Kaczynski completed only one of the 25 tours he had planned, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The travel industry has been hit enormously due to COVID," he said.
"You can't even travel out of the state and the group rule is also a small issue.
"We probably had 50-60 people booked on the tours before COVID.
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"They have pretty much transferred their bookings over to next year so it's a big start already.
"We couldn't do the Norfolk Island tour this year, so all the people booked on that are ready to go for next April."
Due to the pandemic, Mr Kaczynski had to reschedule six-day tours from earlier in the year to November 2020.
"We will have to wait and see if they can go ahead. The tour goes to Bright and one also goes to Kangaroo Island on November 18," he said,
"The border is still closed at this stage so we aren't 100 percent sure on that one.
"They are keen for people to go there because they had the bushfires early in the year.
"There are so many places around the country that can't survive if they don't have tourism."
Mr Kaczynski said the majority of his clients lived in Victoria, specifically from regional areas.
"A lot of our travellers are also repeating travellers. Once they generally start travelling they come back and do other tours," he said.
"The age group of people that travel on our tours is the retiree age, the 60-plus age group."
Mr Kaczynski started Brendan's Australian Tours in 2010 and has worked in the coach tour industry since 2000.
"The business has been very successful, but it has been an indifferent year," he said.
"It's still a bit unknown to what's going to happen because things are changing quite rapidly now.
"I think because people have been in lockdown for seven months they are keen to start travelling again.
"I am very optimistic and positive that when we can start travelling again, business is going to be good."
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