Bendigo's tourism boost

CITY of Greater Bendigo executive manager of tourism Kathryn Mackenzie said Bendigo could not have gotten off to a better start in 2014.

Hundreds of athletes and their families flocked to the city last week.

Two sporting events attracted competitors from across the country.

Athletes aged 30 and above tested their skills at the Bendigo Oceania Masters Athletics Championships.

The nine-day games had athletes competing from 10 countries.

Oceania Masters event manager Terry Hicks said the athletics carnival was a success.

“We were very happy with the response from all of the participants,” he said.

“Not a lot of regional centres can pull off what Bendigo has been able to achieve."  

Some of Victoria's budding young cricketers also took part in the School Sport Australia 12-and-under cricket championships.

National championships officer Howard Louis said he  heard officials say the Bendigo tournament was the best event they had attended.

“It was a very positive event,” he said.

Mr Louis said the tournament was a resounding success.

Ms Mackenzie said the athletes added a vibrancy to the city.

“A lot of Oceania athletes went into the visitor centre to book tours,” she said.

“A lot of people wanted to see what Bendigo had to offer."

Ms Mackenzie said Bendigo Art Gallery’s visitation had also been steady since the beginning of the year.

She said her attention was now focused on the gallery’s next prominent exhibition.

The gallery will host the Ambition and Genius exhibition from the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

The exhibition will open on March 2.

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