CENTRAL Victoria may have an unique chance to win a greater share of the tourism market as the COVID-19 crisis resets Australia's economy.
An industry figure has described the crisis as an opportunity for regional Australia to re-open more quickly and drive recovery.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank head of economic and market research David Robertson said the moment was unique for central Victoria, in common with the rest of regional Australia.
Mr Robertson said tourism and regional property could both win out, as Australians were domestically-bound and seeking more space.
He said the current crisis was the biggest worldwide economic contraction since World War II.
Economic estimates show Bendigo may have lost as much as $90 million when COVID-19 restrictions hit the tourism industry.
But Mr Robertson said arguably the worst economic effects would be on Melbourne, rather than regional Victoria, due to the higher caseload.
He said the crisis was a chance for central Victoria to earn a greater share of the domestic tourism economy.
Mr Robertson said demand for regional property would also be unique, as consumer preferences and attitudes changed.
He said closely packed Melbournites and Sydneysiders were likely to consider moving somewhere with more space.
"The unique opportunity for central Victoria... is using a reset moment like this to win a greater market share ... of the spending," Mr Robertson said.
"[There's] absolutely a unique opportunity for regional Victoria, for more of the growth to be in the regions, and less reliant on capital cities."
Mr Robertson said adaptability was key for Bendigo business, to prepare for a wide range of possible outcomes after COVID-19.
He said leveraging technology and innovation was vital.
"What COVID-19 has done is accelerated that need for a digital transformation," he said.
Mr Robertson said despite the economic shock the health data was on Australia's side.
"The mortality rates and so on, are a lot lower in Asia and Oceania. So Australia and New Zealand have flattened the curve far more quickly and that means a faster recovery that would otherwise be the case," he said.
"The decisiveness and effectiveness of the policy response does mean we're able to reopen the economy more quickly than otherwise."
Mr Robertson will speak at a City of Greater Bendigo business webinar on Tuesday at 12pm.
More information at: bendigo.vic.gov.au/businesswebinars.
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