Region strikes tourism gold – Bendigo Times

LOCAL authorities and tourism providers are celebrating after the region was acknowledged multiple times at a recent industry awards event.

Held last week, the City of Greater Bendigo came away with gold trophies in the Tourism Marketing and Campaigns and Visitor Information Services category.

It’s the second straight year the Bendigo Visitor Centre on Pall Mall has won its category, while the marketing campaign award came for the VIVA BENDIGO push behind Elvis: Direct from Graceland at the Art Gallery.

Meanwhile, BIG4 Bendigo Marong Holiday Park took gold in the Caravan and Holiday Parks category.

Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf was at the event to present an award sponsored by the municipality and said it was good to see Bendigo “dominating” the awards.

“It was incredible to see our city and region dominating so many prestigious awards,” she said.

“I am very proud of what the organisation, our local tourism industry and partners have achieved over the past year.

“I congratulate the City’s tourism and major events unit, Bendigo Visitor Centre and Gallery staff, and units from across the organisation who’ve all played an important role in presenting our city and ensuring visitors have a memorable time.

“I also acknowledge our passionate local tourism, accommodation and hospitality industries that offer outstanding service and experiences.”

2022 represents the third time an event at the Bendigo Art Gallery has been acknowledged as part of the awards Marketing category, with previous nods coming in its 2016 for Marilyn Monroe and 2019 for Tudors to Windsors.

Meanwhile it was a big year for the Visitor Centre with data from the City showing more than 58,000 people used the space.

Known as VIVA BENDIGO, the award-winning campaign included the now iconic sign in the Rosalind Park Plaza.

Other awards on the evening included a silver for the municipality in the Local Government Award for Tourism section, and another silver for Balgownie Winery in the Unique Accommodation category.

Bronze nods went to Central Deborah Motel in the 4-4.5-star Deluxe Accommodation class and Rambling Wine Tours in the New Tourism Business category.

According to State Government numbers, Elvis: Direct from Graceland added $67 million to the local economy, while a statement from the City said 220,000 people visited the event.

The Art Gallery of Bendigo exhibition received further accolades as a finalist in the prestigious Major Festivals and Events category alongside the Melbourne Grand Prix and a Foo Fighters concert in Geelong.

“Our success at the awards is attributed to a huge collective effort, which has firmly established Bendigo’s reputation as a top tourist destination that continues to grow nationally and internationally,” Cr Metcalf said.

“It is a wonderful outcome to win top awards at a state level and to be endorsed as leaders in promoting excellence in tourism.”

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