BENDIGO has made such a splash at Victoria's top tourism awards it can even boast one of the state's best glamping sites.
Deputy Bendigo Tourism chair Peter Abbott could not remember a time when one city's attractions had done so well at the RACV Victorian Industry Tourism Awards.
"It demonstrates the way we work together, whether we are private businesses, governments, art galleries or not-for-profits like the Tramways," he said.
Balgownie Estate Bendigo's glamping accommodation was among the six groups highlighted as the awards were announced.
The city's oldest working winery took silver in the unique accommodations category for its high-end tents, which launched in 2018 and overlook rows of grapevines.
Balgownie lost out to a alpine nature experience at Mount Hotham offering "an intimate and adventurous night in the snow".
Yet one of the town's highest honours were won by Bendigo Tourism's marketing campaign for the Tudors to Windsors art exhibition.
That campaign targeted Australia and New Zealand audiences and created more than 40 unique royal and British experiences to encourage visitors to stay in the region longer.
It was a critical component to what was the local industry's biggest drawcard for 2019, MrPeter Abbott said.
"We have a real point of difference to just about every other regional centre in Victoria - and probably Australia - in that we have so much art, culture and history that can be used to so heavily promote the city," he said.
The campaign won the top prize in the destination marketing category while the City of Greater Bendigo took gold in the local government award for tourism category.
Mr Abbott is also chief executive of Bendigo Tramways, which beat out a field that included State Library Victoria and Parliament House to gold in the cultural tourism category.
The group's trams not only celebrated Indigenous history and the Anzac spirit, but contemporary Bendigo too, he said.
"The Santa tram is coming next week and that's a big part of our community. It's been running ever since the 1950s but in the last few years we've really increased numbers," Mr Abbott said.
"We will have about 100 Santa tram services running through December. I'd actually like to start the tram in August because it sells out so quickly."
The Bendigo Visitor Centre won bronze in the visitor information category.
The Bendigo Blues and Roots Festival and the Bendigo Regional Digital Mentoring Program were finalists in the festival and events category and the tourism and education category respectively.
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