Region bathed in tourism gold

February 10, 2022 BY

Winners: The City of Greater Bendigo’s Terry Karamaloudis, Karly Elvey, Jemma Docherty and Kate Eltringham at the Victorian Tourism Awards last week. Photo: SUPPLIED

BENDIGO made its mark on the Victorian Tourism Awards last week, with organisations in the region taking out the top prize in four different categories.

The awards celebrate the best in the state’s tourism industry, which this year included Uniquely Bendigo and the Living Arts Space in the tourism retail and hire services category, the City of Greater Bendigo for the local government award for tourism, the Bendigo Visitor Centre for best visitor information services, and Balgownie Estate in the unique accommodation category.

Operations manager at Balgownie, Harry Wellborne, said the win was a testament to the hard working staff who help provide the venue’s luxury glamping and homestead accommodation.

“We tell each other that we’ve got a really unique and fantastic offering and it’s really nice to have that confirmed by our peers in the industry,” he said.

“We got silver in 2019 for the same category so it was really nice to know that not only have we maintained standards, but we’ve been able to increase that position.

“Hopefully we can contribute to the region by attracting a few more people to us and then they’ll go out and visit other places in the area.”

Manager of tourism and major events at the City of Greater Bendigo, Terry Karamaloudis, said coming out on top in three highly competitive award categories was fantastic news for the organisation after prolonged challenges.

“This is wonderful recognition of how our staff and volunteers have been able to overcome the enormous challenges during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to create unique experiences and welcoming opportunities for visitors,” he said.

“To achieve this and win three golds is just fantastic and the City is very proud of our staff and volunteers who deliver exciting tourism, events and visitor services, and work hard to make everyone’s visit to the region a memorable experience.

“Our staff and volunteers continue to show incredible creativity, resilience and passion for our local tourism industry and its recovery.”