Council’s Paula Hubert hops on board.

It’s been a bumper week for arts, creative industry and tourism news for Bendigo.

According to Tourism Research Australia, Victoria welcomed 90.6 million international and domestic visitors, who spent $30 billion in the year to March – growth of 11.2 per cent and 10.3 per cent respectively.

The Goldfields region, of which Bendigo is apart of, experienced a 9.5 per cent growth in expenditure and a 16.8 per cent boost in international visitors during this time.

City of Greater Bendigo’s manager of tourism and major events Terry Karamaloudis described the latest statistics as a healthy increase.

“It’s important to acknowledge the collaboration from industry to help achieve these results. You need industry, business and tourism operators to have the goods people are wanting,” Mr Karamaloudis said.

The results show that international visitors are looking for specific experiences that our region can offer, with an 11.6 per cent in visitor nights and a 10.2 per cent boost in total visitors.

Bendigo Art Gallery’s Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits exhibition exceeded the 55,000 visitors expected as it concluded last week.

Over the past 12 months more than 150,000 people have attended close to 900 performances and events at Ulumbarra Theatre, The Capital and the Engine Room.

Mayor Margaret O’Rourke said it was wonderful to see Bendigo riding the wave of a cultural
resurgence.

“Over many years the
City of Greater Bendigo has worked very hard to establish our city and wider region as a thriving arts hub,” Cr O’Rourke said.

“It was a very deliberate decision to carve out this niche for ourselves and we have seen over many years the rise and rise of our arts and culture reputation.”

State government figures show tourism supports more than 214,000 jobs in Victoria, including 85,000 in regional areas.