SOME tourism-based businesses in the Sussex Inlet area continue to struggle as a result of the Deans Gap bushfire.
The bushfire prompted many tourists to go home, while others cancelled their holiday plans.
Owner of Sussex Inlet Marine Centre Brian Betts said the lack of boats on the water was the obvious indication of a lack of tourists.
“It should be like George Street, Sydney this time of year,” Mr Betts said as he pointed to a nearly boat-free Sussex waterway.
“Just look up there to the foreshore – it's normally full of people having picnics and the like,” he said.
Mr Betts said the Christmas holiday period was important for Sussex based businesses.
He said a business could get a third or even half of its yearly income from this normally busy period.
President of the Sussex Inlet and District Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Phil Queiripel said he hoped tourists would return.
“It’s not doom and gloom down here. It’s business as normal,” he said.
Managers of the Sussex House and Caravan Park and Sussex Palms Holiday Park both confirmed numbers were way down on previous years.