Accommodation providers are bursting with bookings thanks to Bendigo's calendar blooming with events in the coming weeks and months.
Bendigo Motel Association president Kristyn Slattery said business owners had a sense of optimism about 2022 following two pandemic-affected years that saw bookings drop by up to 90 per cent.
"It feels stable, steady and consistent. It feels like we have got a future again," she said. "After this weekend, with Elvis' arrival, it's going to be epic. Reading the event calendar, it looks full and fantastic. It's been a long time between drinks, so cheers to that."
Among the events that kick off from next weekend is Elvis: Direct From Graceland, Bendigo on the Hop, the Lost Trades Fair and Eaglehawk's 50th Dahlia and Arts Festival.
Dahlia devotee Marg Ashman said the festival and flower show would draw hundreds of displays.
"I am so thrilled to bring back our fabulous flower show under the auspices of the Eaglehawk Dahlia and Arts Festival as we recover from two terrible years of COVID-19 restrictions," Mrs Ashman said.
"For the past 50 years, thousands of people have flocked to Eaglehawk to experience our spectacular display because the dahlia is such a popular species."
Beyond this weekend, headline events for the region include the 150th Bendigo Easter Fair in April and White Night, which announced a September 3 date last week.
Bendigo Tourism Bendigo chair Kath Bolitho said it was no mistake there was an extensive calendar right through 2022 with multiple events being pushed on to the same weekend.
"There are approximately 80 events already confirmed and more in the pipeline," she said.
"The scheduling of multiple events on the same weekend isn't an accident - there are a number of logistics and considerations undertaken to make sure both postponed events are rescheduled and new events can be delivered.
"The huge amount of visitor attracting events from now until Easter will be the kick start needed by many industries who are still feeling the impact of the extremely slow start to 2022."
Council manager of tourism and major events Terry Karamaloudis said people were eager to get out and about with pre-sold tickets for event looking healthy.
"The Lost Trades Fair has had a record pre-sale of tickets," he said. "The previous biggest was 600 for the Bendigo event, it is to 5000 now.
"For the Easter Festival we conservatively expect see 100,000 people back in the city. The major event calendar has had momentum building and people are coming to the city to experience those things."
Ms Slattery said motel owners were loving welcoming people back to town.
"The last three weeks, we have started to see the shift," she said. "We love to share our knowledge of places to see, eat, drink and be merry. It's rewarding to be able to do that again.
"It's been a massive week with the launch of the official Easter guide and we can see across that weekend there are plenty of events.
"White Night was something we missed and have been waiting anxiously for that new date, which fits well daylight savings. We are looking forward to that weekend being another sell out night.
"If people are booking accommodation, book direct. Small businesses have done it tough for the last two years and when travellers book direct, the money stays local."
Ms Bolitho said the economic benefits of such a full calendar went beyond motels, hospitality and retail sectors.
"The effects will be felt right through the local economy as spending flows through into other goods and services," she said.
"The easiest way to know what's coming up and what activities your businesses can leverage, is to partner with Bendigo Tourism to access extensive calendar ahead of time."
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