OPINION: Support businesses in wake of backpacker shortage
Before the pandemic, backpackers were a common sight in Bundaberg, now there are noticeably fewer in town.
But it's not just the international faces we could lose in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the thousands of foreign workers who came to our city, came businesses to support them - Asian grocery stores, restaurants and even tourist experiences.
We risk all these things if we don't continue to support the wealth of cultural experiences that Bundaberg is lucky to have.
For example, Asian grocery stores in the region stock an incredible range of products you'd otherwise have to travel to Brisbane for.
When it comes to eateries, we have food options that otherwise would only exist in the big smoke.
And with Covid-19 throwing a spanner in the works of travel plans everywhere, there's never been a better time to make use of our own tourism opportunities and explore our own backyard.
I've heard from numerous local shop owners who are concerned about the lack of patronage in the absence of the backpacker community in the region.
We have a wealth of options in Bundaberg, so it's time to get out and explore them so we can keep the variety going in our community.
Try some Asian food or head to an Asian grocery store and try out something new.
The old say "use it or lose it" certainly applies here.