City scores gold at tourism awards

March 25, 2023 BY

All shook up: Elvis Presley’s ex-wife, Priscilla, helped launch last year’s Elvis: Direct from Graceland exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery. Photo: FILE

THIS year’s Qantas Australian Tourism Awards was a big one for staff at the City of Greater Bendigo with the municipality taking home gold and bronze medals in two categories during last week’s presentation in Sydney.

The City won top honours for last year’s Viva Bendigo event and was given the bronze nod for the visitor centre for the Best Tourism Marketing and Campaigns and Visitor Information Services respectively.

Viva Bendigo was crafted around the Australian-exclusive Elvis: Direct from Graceland exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery, which ran from Saturday, 19 March to Sunday, 17 April last year.

Terry Karamaloudis, the City’s manager for tourism and major events said winning the gold highlights the hard work of everyone involved in the campaign.

“Congratulations to the Tourism and Major Events unit, Bendigo Visitor Centre, Bendigo Venues and Events, Bendigo Art Gallery and staff from across the organisation who played an important role in creating a fantastic marketing campaign,” he said.

“This national award recognises Greater Bendigo as a top tourist destination that continues to grow nationally and internationally.

“The Viva Bendigo campaign brought Elvis fever to the region with many fun experiences, events, shows, music and attractions, together with themed food and drink menus fit for a king.”

The municipality previously won gold in the QATA’s Best Tourism Marketing and Campaigns for the Tutors to Windsors campaign in 2019.

Staff and visitors at the Bendigo Visitor Centre on Pall Mall are estimated to have assisted nearly 60,000 visitors last year.

The municipality’s awards added to Victoria’s 11 wins across the QATA’s 25 categories, which Victorian Tourism Industry Council CEO, Felicia Mariani said showcases the state as a major for destination for visitors.

“It’s a real testament to the commitment and passion on display in Victoria and we’re so proud of all our contenders in this highly competitive process,” she said.

“It was especially pleasing to see Geelong Gallery, The Woods Ocean Grove, Viva Bendigo by City of Greater Bendigo, and Urban Camp Melbourne named as gold winners.

“We extend our sincere congratulations to them in representing our industry so successfully on the national stage.”