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Visitation to Ballarat Increases By 33 Per Cent

November 22, 2018 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

MORE visitors than ever before are making their way to Ballarat, according to a new report released by Data Insights this month.

The report, which looks at Tourism Research Australia year-on-year figures since 2009, reported that 2.9 million travellers visited Ballarat in the last financial year, an increase of over 33 per cent on year ending June 2009. Looking at long range figures provides trend data showing overall growth for the region versus a year-on-year glimpse which does not reveal the full macro direction of the overall visitation increase.

The report also indicated that visitors spent a total of 1.8 million nights in the city year ending June 2018, an increase of 44.4 per cent on 2009.

The staggering increase in figures has been credited to the ongoing development of Ballarat’s tourism products, as well as the evolution of visitor experiences particularly in the food and drink and arts and cultural sectors.

With award-winning cafes and restaurants as well as a desirable line-up of food events running throughout the year, Ballarat’s hospitality scene is emerging. 2019 region events include; MFWF Regional World’s Longest Lunch, Plate Up Ballarat and a series of artisan master classes covering Food & Drink, Produce, Art & Design and Craft as part of the city’s innovative destination campaign, Made of Ballarat. A Regional Events and Innovation Fund will also fund the Made of Ballarat Pop Up Shop in Melbourne CBD which will bring locally handcrafted products to Melburnians for a limited time in Autumn.

Reinforcing Ballarat as a reigning regional town in hospitality, Derek Boath of Underbar received one hat at The Good Food Guide 2019 Awards and Owen Latta of Eastern Peake Winery was awarded Australia’s Young Winemaker of the Year in October 2019.

Tourism supports more than 3,200 jobs in Ballarat and is a major driver of the city’s economy, injecting in excess of $450 million into the city every year.


–        Total travel to Ballarat in the last financial year was 2.9 million, an increase of 33.1 per cent on year ending June 2009

–        Total nights spent in Ballarat was 1.8 million, an increase of 44.4 per cent on year ending June 2009

–        Domestic overnight visitation has increased by 57.6 per cent on year ending June 2009

–        International overnight visitation has increased by 17.5 per cent on year ending June 2009

Quote attributed to Visit Ballarat Chief Executive Officer Noel Dempsey:

  • “If we look at the 9-year visitation figures, we see there is a solid upward trend in numbers providing clear evidence of how Ballarat is yielding increased visitation in the long term”.
  • There’s no doubt our city is becoming Victoria’s worst kept secret. Combine our stunning heritage streetscapes and world-class attractions with the fact that we are only a cork’s-throw from the Pyrenees Wine Region, and you have a holiday destination with something to offer everyone”.
  • “Over the last decade, our existing tourism products have continued to develop their visitor experiences. We have seen evidence of this in the last year alone with Sovereign Hill’s multi-million dollar play-space as well as the Ballarat Wildlife Park’s new animal enclosures. We have also welcomed a number of new premium experiences, such as the Ballarat Winter Festival, which has transformed one of our quietest visitation periods into our busiest!”
  • “In addition to this, we have seen a huge evolution in certain sectors, particularly our eat and drink space. Our hospitality scene has reached the point where it rivals Melbourne’s, with award-winning cafes and restaurants as well as an enviable line-up of food events running throughout year”.
  • “More and more people are also travelling here for an authentic paddock-to-plate experience. The fact that we are located smack-bang in the middle of western Victoria’s food belt means we can provide unparalleled food and wine experiences for our visitors”.
  • “Ask any Ballaratian and they will tell you the city has transformed over recent years. Talented folk have returned home to set up inspiring businesses, and others are wanting to escape the stress and bustle of metropolitan city life, relocating to Ballarat and bringing world-class products and experiences with them.”
  • “The largest ever showcase of living Australian artists, Biennale of Australian Art, took place in Ballarat between 21 September – 6 November in 2018 and the Ballarat Foto Biennale is due to launch in 2019 for its eleventh year. Individuals make a commitment to travel for these experiences – they like to stay overnight, eat out and shop”.

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