Crowds at Lismore's Friendship Festival - Piazza in The Park.
Crowds at Lismore's Friendship Festival - Piazza in The Park.

'Dear tourist': Forget about Byron, Lismore loves you

DEAR tourists, welcome to Lismore.

We are so happy you've chosen to visit our city.

You may have heard about another letter written by a jaded resident of a nearby seaside town telling you you're not welcome there, but trust me, we are so happy you have come to stay.

This resident asks you to go somewhere else, so here is Lismore saying, come over, we'll put the kettle on, bake a cake, fire up the barbie and pour you a drink!

It's obvious they don't appreciate you, so drive through the hinterland and come up to Lismore and see what we have to offer.

We choose to live here and it's always nice to other people walking around our CBD, by the river, exploring our parks and retail precinct.

Sure, we have no beach but lots of parks, beautiful walking and mountain bike trails, great sporting facilities and either host or are close to some of the best music and cultural festivals held anywhere, any time.

We also attract some fantastic musicians to our venues and you'll be able to get tickets.

Not only are we thrilled to see your cars, motorhomes, motorbikes and bicycles parked on a our streets - which come with free parking by the way - we appreciate your choosing to enjoy our cafes, shops, galleries and wander through our indoor and outdoor attractions.

You may have heard earlier this year the town was under water during a devastating flood.

A lot of people went through a really tough time with their businesses and homes, so we are doubly glad to see you here!

By staying in our motels, B&Bs and camping grounds, eating at our cafes, restaurants and hotels, shopping at our markets and stores, you are helping us pay our bills, mortgages, buy our children books, toys and school gear, and generally keep Lismore's economic pot bubbling.

Our waiters and bartenders aren't pretentious snobs and will serve you with a smile in some of the best bars, cafes, restaurants and hotels in the region.

Plus they won't charge you the earth.

We think you are really important and it's not simply the independent visitors we are happy to say hello to, there's many of you coming to attend business and sporting events as well.

This week for example, we welcome nearly 400 members and friends of Inner Wheel who will be in town to attend the 49th national conference at various venues.

If we have to wait a bit longer to use the post office while you choose and mail postcards, or for lunch while you ponder the menu, at at the servo - sdome of whom will fill your car for you - don't worry.

We are delighted you are learning why Lismore is one of the best-kept secrets of the region.

Unlike our neighbours by the sea, we have heaps of space to welcome visitors from across the state and around the world, and it's good of you to pop by.

She may be more glamorous, but you have seen through her and know we are genuinely pleased to see you.

The other day a tourist stopped in me in the street to ask whereto get a good coffee and I had to give him three choices, because we have so many great options.

So welcome to Lismore and come back soon.

We miss you already.

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