The Christmas and new year period saw a boom in tourism for City of Greater Shepparton, with the visitor centre recording a 275 per cent increase in visitors compared to the last festive season.
Visitor experience co-ordinator Maree Glasson said the increase in numbers to the centre was phenomenal and people were coming to them for a range of activities.
“About half of them (visitors) were here in the precinct to visit the art museum,” she said.
“Others were looking for things to see and do especially families with kids, they were very interested in the outdoors … so we were able to direct them to the botanic gardens, the walking trails, KidsTown, Aquamoves.
“The Museum of Vehicle Evolution was also something people were very interested to learn about.”
City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Kim O’Keeffe congratulated the centre staff on keeping up with the influx of visitors over the busy period.
“The Greater Shepparton Visitor Centre staff and volunteers have done an amazing job to keep up with the demand across the festive period,” she said.
“The visitor centre recorded its busiest day on Wednesday, December 29, with 273 visitors walking through the door. What an incredible effort.”
Overall, 2140 visitors were recorded coming into the centre, with 80 per cent of them from Greater Melbourne.
Now in mid-January, numbers have started to calm down and Ms Glasson said the centre was looking to attract new volunteers.
“We’re looking for local people who are really passionate about where they live, they’re ‘people’ people who would really like to share all the great things we have in our town and learn about all the things they didn’t know about their town,” she said.
“It’s a really great place to volunteer because you’re dealing with happy people who are on holidays.”
Gary MacDonald has enjoyed volunteering at the visitor centre for 11 years and encouraged others to get in on the action and join the team.
“Make the inquiry, come in and have a chat, ‘cause we’re looking for volunteers,” he said.
“I’ve definitely found it worthwhile in my time here because not only do you start to learn more about your own area, but you can introduce people to your own area as well.
“It’s just nice to pass that information along.”
For more information or to express your interest in volunteering, visit the council website for the Visitor Centre. Applications close on Monday, January 31.