How local businesses can leverage of major events will be the focus of one of the keynote speakers at the Bendigo NEXT tourism conference on Monday.
Bendigo NEXT, a one-day tourism conference, will feature speakers discussing aspects of gastronomy, winter tourism, agriculture and sustainability and social media.
City of Greater Bendigo tourism and major events manager Terry Karamaloudis said in the wake of Bendigo being designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, the ability for businesses to enhance visitor experiences will be important.
"The designation by UNESCO is a significant coup for, not only Greater Bendigo, but the gastronomy region," he said.
"Food is a universal product. The whole journey of food from paddock to plate, how it happens and how it drive commercial venture - people will gravitate to that.
"Businesses are already embracing the notion of a being a City of Gastronomy. We have been elevated on to a new platform and (it is) exciting."
Mr Karamaloudis said Melbourne International Arts Festival project director Patrizia Fimiani would speak on how local businesses can get leverage from major events.
"Patrizia is a senior person in the Melbourne International Arts Festival that was merged this year with the White Night event," Mr Karamaloudis said.
"So from an event planning and management point of view, how a business can leverage of significant major events, is very interesting.
"The most (Bendigo) recent example is the Tudors to Windsors exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery. (Council) won a Victorian Tourism Award for marketing initiatives but one of the key parts of winning that was was how the city and businesses engaged together to enhance elements of visitor experiences around the exhibition. Patrizia will talk about that and give key insights into it."
Visit Victoria head of regional tourism and strategy Paul Matthews will also be a keynote speaker at Monday's conference.
"He has an integral role (in Visit Victoria) and the knowledge and insights he will part with on Monday are really invaluable," Mr Karamaloudis said. "We are getting insight from one of highest authorities on tourism in the state."
About 165 people attended last year. Numbers are expected to grow this year.
"It shows people see the value in it," Mr Karamaloudis said. "Last year we had a great start and got positive feedback from the industry in terms of price and the caliber of content presented.
"We had a good showing (of people attending) from around regional Victoria - that is first market we prioritise - and we had some come from Melbourne and a solid core from Greater Bendigo."