The region's accommodation sector is preparing for life post-Elvis after operating at 80 per cent capacity during the exhibition.
Elvis: Direct From Graceland will close on July 17. The same weekend will see the Australian Sheep and Wool Show return to Bendigo after being cancelled in 2021.
Bendigo Motels Association president and Julie-Anna Inn owner Kristyn Slattery said the organisation's bed bank - which keeps visitors informed of the last available rooms in Bendigo - has been active during the whole of the Elvis exhibition.
"It's been at six days a week most weeks, which is unprecedented and extremely welcome by our members and guests," she said.
"A massive percentage of visitors would be for Elvis. It's been marketed nationally so well, people from across country have come to stay and see it but also we are seeing people from Melbourne and Victoria keen to get out as well."
Ms Slattery said the real bonus for the BMA had been capacity rates reaching between 80 and 90 per cent during the week.
"Across most motel from Monday to Saturday, capacity has been between 80 and 90 per cent for the last four months," she said. "There has also been a vast improvement on Sunday night bookings.
"Pre-COVID mid-week bookings were about 55 or 60 per cent as a rough ball park."
But despite the success off the back of Elvis, Ms Slattery said business was "still a long way off normal".
"Elvis been amazing timing for our sector," she said. "But it's the midweek business customers we will missing once Elvis.
"That's travelling business people. We have been missing that corporate customer since COVID.
"While we have seen a growth in occupancy in last few months on previous years, it will never recover lost trade and revenue opportunities for the last two years. Recovery is a day by day proposition and we are definitely in a rebuilding phase.
"There are also a lot more events to come back. We have been told by (City of Greater Bendigo's) Terry Karamaloudis there are a lot of double-header event weekends because people want to bring postponed events to Bendigo."
Ms Slattery said it was encouraging to see people being more optimistic about booking in holidays.
"There has been a shift of people not book four weeks in advance," she said. "We are now starting see people plan a bit more and trust there will be no lockdowns. That is key for our industry.
"Once we were through Easter, we saw that booking window grow. But drops away after next weekend."
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Chris has been with the Bendigo Advertiser for more than 10 years. He has great passion for the performing arts and is very supportive of the Bendigo live music scene. Outside of the news world Chris plays golf and, regardless of the result, loves watching St Kilda play in the AFL. He loves community theatre and has performed on stage with the Bendigo Theatre Company and worked with Baldrick himself, Tony Robinson. Story tips: email@example.com
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