TOURIST numbers are down in the Oberon area and more than one business is worried.
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Lynne Causer from the Visitor Information Centre said numbers were reduced, but a few people were coming to Oberon for the cooler weather.
"Although Jenolan Caves is closed, Mayfield Garden is open and there's still plenty to see and enjoy around Oberon," she said.
"Oberon Dam is still a great place to go fishing or kayaking."
Stella McGrath from the Big Trout Motor Inn said the situation is shocking.
"The fires and the drought have hit us hard, as it has other businesses in Oberon," she said.
"We're not even getting the drive through traffic that spend money on fuel and food in the main street.
"Grocery stores are probably doing it all right, as people still have to eat."
Mrs McGrath said things will not improve until the region gets some rain.
Sharon Whittaker from Pick of the Bunch said they rely on the tourist trade at this time of year as local businesses are on their holiday break.
"It's been very quiet. It's a real worry," she said.
Sharon Coleman from the Highlands Motor Inn said they have had no tourist trade at all and only firefighters from NSW RFS and National Parks staying at the motel have kept them going.
"If it wasn't for them, we would have been in trouble," she said.
"I've got a folder full of cancellations that started before Christmas.
"This time of year we usually have families booking to go to the Caves and Mayfield Garden.
"Hopefully we get some timber workers back after the holiday break. Weddings will start in March and April.
"Without rain, we won't even have the mushrooms in April and May. We might have to rely on our winter snowfalls to bring back the tourists."
Mrs Coleman said when things get back to normal, business owners should get together to start advertising Oberon as a destination to come back to visit.
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