Lights draw crowds to Sovereign Hill

SOVEREIGN Hill experienced an 11 per cent jump in visitor numbers compared to last year and this has been attributed to its Christmas in July program. 

Christmas cheer: Tim Harris in costume at Sovereign Hill’s Christmas in July lights show.

Christmas cheer: Tim Harris in costume at Sovereign Hill’s Christmas in July lights show.

“Typically, July is a difficult time of year to attract visitors, with Ballarat often perceived as a cold and uninviting place to visit,” Sovereign Hill chief executive officer Jeremy Johnson said.

The Christmas in July program included carollers and a light show by the team behind Melbourne’s White Night festival. 

“We’re thrilled with the response to our Christmas in July event and have welcomed visitors from all over regional Victoria,” Mr Johnson said. 

The event prompted more visitors to come from Melbourne, which Mr Johnson said was “one of the hardest markets to attract”, because Melbourne people tended to travel north for warmer climes in the July school holidays, or go to the snow. 

While international visitors remained at a steady 15 per cent, Mr Johnson said the draw of the night time light show and festivities meant people stayed on longer at Sovereign Hill, and “a lot” of people came back the second day because of the range of events on offer.

alex.hamer@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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