ENCOURAGING Melburnians to have “one more dinner, one more night, one more coffee” in regional Victoria will be a focus of the state’s tourism and events company Visit Victoria, its chief executive officer says.
Peter Bingeham said he visited Bendigo on Thursday to learn more about the area from key figures in the local tourism industry and give information on what his organisation would do for Bendigo.
Mr Bingeman told the Bendigo Advertiser Visit Victoria would continue to focus on its Wander Victoria campaign, which aims to connect people from Melbourne and other Victorians with regional areas.
Interstate and international visitors would also be a target market, he said, but about 55 per cent of the tourism economy in regional Victoria was driven by visitors from the city.
Mr Bingeman said if every tourist to regional Victoria could be convinced to stay just one extra night, it would be a big boon for regional economies.
He said Visit Victoria also wanted to promote holidays to regional areas in the low and shoulder seasons of winter and spring.
City of Greater Bendigo tourism manager Kathryn Mackenzie said the visit was an opportunity to showcase what the local sector was doing and ensure Bendigo was in the sights of the tourism entity.
Ms Mackenzie said they also wanted to learn about the strategy of Visit Victoria to ensure the strategy of the council and the local industry as a whole was “moving in harmony”.
A roundtable discussion held with Mr Bingeman, council representatives and key industry figures sparked some food for thought, she said, and provided a better understanding of the state’s direction.
Ms Mackenzie said Bendigo was “riding the waves” of its success, having been a standout at the recent Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, where Masons of Bendigo and Bendigo Tramways picked up gold awards, and Bendigo Tourism and Bendigo Art Gallery won bronze.
Mr Bingeman said Visit Victoria looked forward to supporting Bendigo’s tourism sector.
“I really think Bendigo has an amazing offering, and I really think the city of Bendigo has changed itself into a world-class short-visit destination,” he said.