Bendigo has been named one of the top 10 most welcoming cities in Australia.
The title comes as Booking.com unveiled its annual Traveller Review awards. Towns had to have at least 50 eligible accommodation providers to be included in the list.
Bendigo placed eighth with Maleny in Queensland taking out top spot followed by Denmark (WA), Hervey Bay (Qld), Margaret River Town (WA), Montville (Qld) and Rockhampton, (Qld). Mildura was in seventh spot with Tanunda in South Australia and Mount Tamborine in Queensland making up the top 10.
City of Greater Bendigo tourism and major events manager Terry Karamaloudis said the award was due to the city's outstanding tourism operators.
"Being ranked in Australia's top 10 most welcoming towns confirms what we already knew, which is Bendigo has an outstanding tourism sector made up of really high quality and committed business owners, whether that is in retail, hospitality, experiences or accommodation," he said.
"We are so glad that so many travellers can enjoy the best of what Greater Bendigo has to offer, thanks to the great service and support they receive when they come here."
Bendigo Heritage Attractions CEO James Reade said it was no surprise Bendigo had ranked so highly.
"As a proud Bendigonian, I have always known what a great city and great place this is," he said. "We have a lot to offer and are backed up great people and service."
Mr Reade said that the awards were the result of traveller reviews, which were very important for tourism operators.
"Nowadays, people are always jumping on a phone or computer and google (experiences), so having Bendigo recognised on a credible website is really important," he said.
"The role that council and Bendigo Tourism have had is critical. We're a destination city now but are backed up with an events strategy. We're a city that keeps reinventing year-on-year and is getting a lot of recognition."
Mr Reade said BHA had set admissions records over December and January as the tourism sector worked to recover.
"We had a cracking December and January, and February is on track despite the lockdown," he said. "There have also been a significant amount of travel vouchers (used) as well."
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