An exclusive Elvis Presley exhibition heading to Bendigo has traders excited for the anticipated economic boost to the region.
This week, the Bendigo Art Gallery announced that Elvis: Direct From Graceland would go on display from March next year.
Bendigo Motels Association Kristyn Slattery said she had already fielded interstate inquiries from people eager to visit the exhibition.
"It's the most exciting we have had in two years," she said. "We're ecstatic to see such a large exhibition in place for four month. It's really after the challenges we have had.
"The gallery has large database, so we do get interstate visitors for these types of exhibitions. Hopefully the borders will be open with no hiccups. People are jumping on board early. We have started seeing inquiries for Elvis - that's promising."
Bendigo Tourism Board chair Finn Vedelsby said the Elvis exhibition could outperform past displays such as Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly.
"This has the potential to eclipse any of the fantastic events we have had up at the gallery that contribute millions into the (Bendigo) economy," he said.
"There's been challenges, horrifying news and lockdowns. We've really struggled to find great news. But this is truly great news.
"It's going to be a shot in the arm for Bendigo and our region's tourism. It will put Bendigo at the forefront of any itinerary for the period of that sensational Elvis exhibition.
"I can see it now - V/Line trains full again, queues of people walking down Mitchell and up View Street."
Mr Vedelsby said businesses would be sure to join in the Elvis theme when the exhibition opens.
"It gives us an excuse to sell peanut butter and bacon sandwiches, have tiki cocktails reminiscent of some of his movies and there'll be plenty of opportunities for blue suede shows. We are all shook up about it," he said.
Ms Slattery said the accommodation sector would be boosted by any events that encouraged people to stay in the region after dark.
"We've already been having conversations this week about more evening and after-dark activations," she said.
"As the number of events increase and we get into the rhythm of new, normal COVID-safe plans, there will be more opportunities and things to jump onto in the event calendar."
Mr Vedelsby said there were dozens of events planned in the region over summer.
"Bendigo Tourism has announced there are going to be more than 70 events booked between now and April next year," he said. "It is going to bring so many different styles and demographics of people to Bendigo."
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