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Visit Ballarat Announces New Chair At Annual General Meeting

October 25, 2018 Appointments / Movers & Shakers No Comments Email Email

 Visit Ballarat has appointed Paul Armstrong as the new chair to the Visit Ballarat Board of Directors as of last night’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). Mr. Armstrong comes into the role with a wealth of experience and strong leadership and management abilities in the fields of education and AFL.

Former Chair, Sarah Beaumont, stepped down before the 2018 AGM. She is looking forward to witnessing what the following year has in store for the region, and how Visit Ballarat will play a part in shaping the city’s economy.

With over 25 years’ experience in a variety of leadership roles, including Regional Manager at Geelong Falcons, General Manager at Western Bulldogs Football Club, Operations Manager at AFL Coaches Association and Education Manager at Federation University, Mr. Armstrong is now well placed to mentor and guide Ballarat’s tourism sector through its ongoing development.

Visit Ballarat Chief Executive Officer Noel Dempsey says he is looking forward to serving alongside someone with such an extensive amount of industry experience, both in Ballarat and surrounds.

“More than 2.9 million people visited Ballarat from domestic markets this last financial year”, says Dempsey, “contributing more than $450 million into the city’s economy, according to a new survey released this month. We are honoured to welcome Paul Armstrong into his new position as we continue to witness Ballarat’s ongoing evolution of tourism products and experiences”.

Visit Ballarat celebrated the achievements of the last financial year at its Annual General Meeting yesterday evening, while also looking at key destination positioning and development projects for the year ahead – each aiming to solidify Ballarat’s position as a visitor destination of choice.

The organisation owes much of its success to an ongoing culture of collaboration, working intimately with the City of Ballarat without whose support it would cease to exist, as well as other key stakeholders including Federation University, Commerce Ballarat, local attractions and key state-wide tourism authorities such as Visit Victoria.

KEY REPORT FINDINGS (year ending June 2018):

  • 2.9 million domestic overnight travellers and day-trippers visited Ballarat year ending June 2018
  • Domestic overnight visitors spent $163 on average per night, an increase of 20.1 per cent on year ending June 2017
  • Domestic overnight visitors and day-trippers spent $453 million in the city, year ending June 2018
  • “25 to 34 years” was the biggest age group of visitors to the region, followed by “65 years and older”



  • Development of the Made of Ballarat campaign, enticing Melbourne lifestyle leaders and cultural connoisseurs to visit Ballarat through showcase of productivity and craftsmanship
  • Planning, marketing and execution of specially-tailored seasonal campaigns such as the Season of the Arts and the Ballarat Winter Festival
  • Working with key wine regions to solidify Ballarat’s position as the gateway to the wine region this side of Victoria and raise the profile of this region as a wine destination as part of the Western Victoria Tourism Culture Wine Master Plan
  • Completion of new-and-improved Official Visitor Guide
  • Support for city-run events including White Night, Begonia Festival, and Ballarat Heritage Weekend

Quotes attributed to Visit Ballarat Chief Executive Officer Noel Dempsey:

“The latest Tourism Research Australia figures not only indicate a healthy industry, but demonstrate the vital role that tourism plays in the creation of local jobs, the strengthening of local businesses and ultimately, the well-being of our community.

“I am expecting even greater things for us in the next few years as tourism continues to be a key driver of our local economy.

“We look to the 2018/19 year with high hopes and expectations, as we continue to work alongside Paul Armstrong and the entire Visit Ballarat board, as well as the City of Ballarat, to further develop our unique products and experiences.”

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