BALLARAT’S tourism is booming, with a record $2.2 million pumped in the Ballarat economy this month.
A myriad of events led to one of the biggest Octobers in Ballarat’s history.
Now, with a swag of big events on the horizon for November, the challenge will again be to cope with a fresh influx of visitors.
Hotels were 95 per cent full for the majority of October, according to Ballarat Regional Tourism, with last weekend running at a staggering 98 per cent capacity.
Royal South Street Society, the Australasian Ladies Badminton Championships, Tour of Goldfields cycling race and the Australian Men’s Shed Association Conference were among some of the events on the Ballarat radar last week, attracting thousands of visitors to the city.
BRT chief executive officer George Sossi said there were 23 days in October where events were being held.
“Ballarat has a variety of events, sporting and cultural. They’re not all big but they certainly all contribute,” he said. “Other than the economic figure, it brings a real vibrancy to the town as well.”
The first week of November will see four more events kick off in Ballarat – the Festival of Motoring, SpringFest, Ballarat by the Glass and a new Australia’s Federation exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ballarat.
“Hotels are pretty busy, it’s a sign of a vibrant city,” said Mr Sossi.
Bakery Hill Best Western owner Mark Finch has certainly noticed the increase and says his lodging will be completely booked out until at least November 5.
“We have been absolutely bumper to bumper,” Mr Finch said.
“Normally we aim to be at about the 75 per cent mark, which is generally said to be successful. The events that have been held have been huge for Ballarat.”
SpringFest will start with free entertainment at St Patrick’s Point on Saturday night, the art gallery exhibition starts Saturday, Ballarat by the Glass starts on Sunday and the Festival of Motoring gets under way on Tuesday.