BENDIGO’s tourism strategy will distance itself from Ballarat, and renew focus on events and attractions in the local region.
A new tourism group was launched yesterday involving the City of Greater Bendigo, Loddon, Mt Alexander and Central Goldfields shire councils.
The collective tourism approach comes after the Goldfields region was split into two sub-regions, dividing Ballarat and Bendigo.
City Futures director Stan Liacos said Bendigo needed to control its own destiny with local tourism and marketing.
“We acknowledged we are a fundamentally different region to Ballarat,” he said.
“This will help the region work together in its own right, to market itself nationally and internationally.”
The new Bendigo Regional Tourism will feature a 10-member board consisting of four representatives from Greater Bendigo, two from Mount Alexander, two from Central Goldfields and two from Loddon Shire.
Bendigo mayor Alec Sandner said the local approach would highlight the range of major events and festivals and build on events involving winemakers and food producers.
“We think the new gold lies in the growth of local produce, food and wines and how this contributes to the vibrancy of our cities and towns,” Cr Sandner said.
“The member councils are looking forward to working together to promote the wider Bendigo region as a unique tourist destination and a really interesting and enjoyable region to visit.
“If we attract people to Bendigo we believe they can be encouraged to explore the wider region and we hope to do this by developing tours and attractions that will radiate from Bendigo into the broader region,” he said.
Central Goldfields shire councillor Chris Meddows-Taylor, who helped bring the councils together, said they had spent about two years planning and “we see it as a great opportunity to align our tourism strategies”.
“It’s an exciting beginning.”