Bendigo Loddon’s tourism on the rise as visitors spend big in region

Tourism in regional Victoria has continued to grow accord- ing to newly released data, with the Central Goldfields Shire getting its fair share of the millions of dollars spent throughout the state.

Data released by Tourism Research Australia (TRA) for the year ending September 2018 has shown the Bendigo Loddon region, which includes the Central Goldfields Shire, City of Greater Bendigo, Loddon Shire and Mount

Alexander Shire, has ranked in the nation’s top 50 areas for visitor numbers, number of nights stayed and money spent.

The region saw some 444,000 more tourists visit the area on day trips compared to 2017 and a huge $286 million in trip expenditure, an increase of almost 12 percent from 2017.

Overnight visitors saw a 6.8 percent increase in the region last year, with less nights being stayed but a total $315 million spent, up

almost 20 percent on the figures from 2017.

TRA statistics show that although visitors to the region are not staying for as many nights, the average expenditure of each visitor rose by more than 11 percent. Average expenditure per visitor per night also rose, recording an increase of 22 percent.

The TRA does not have current data specifically for the Central Goldfields Shire, though their most recent data for the shire from 2014 indicates a high number of tourism businesses, some 144, operating throughout the shire that year.

Although there are no records for international visitors, TRA’s data shows domestic overnight stays attracted some 57,000 people and raked in $18 million, while domestic day trips brought 131,000 tourists to the shire and added a further $12 million to the region’s income.

Central Goldfields Shire manager tourism events culture, Joel Chadwick, said tourism is very important for the Central Goldfields Shire moving forward.

“Tourism is a very important industry for the Central Goldfields Shire moving forward,” he said.

“Currently Central Goldfields experiences approximately 150,000 day visits and approximately 60,000 overnight visits per year, contributing around $35 million into the local economy, something that council is keen to grow into the future with further development in the industry.”

For more on this story see the Back Page of The Advertiser, Tuesday, April 16

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