City scores on travel site

Picture: Kate Healy

Picture: Kate Healy

Ballarat has gained a spot among an international travel website’s top picks for the “most postcard-worthy small towns” in Australia.

DiscountMyFlights is a Canadian online travel agent that has recently expanded internationally, including to an office on the Gold Coast.

Its quest to promote towns and cities outside of major centres has led it to recommend holidays to locations such as Esperance in Western Australia, Stanley in Tasmania and Kangaroo Island in South Australia.

Marketing manager Matthew Greenspan said one of the organisation’s travel writers had suggested Ballarat as one of the locations in Australia worth trekking outside of capital cities for.

“Basically we were looking for any sort of standout elements related to the city’s unique culture, any rich history or nature,” he said.

“We’re really trying to promote cities outside the main cities, bringing people to places they’ve never been to or seen. We’re trying to put unknown places on the map.”

Mr Greenspan said writers had nominated for Ballarat for its rich history.

“It’s known for its rich history, vibrant arts culture and annual festivals...that attract people from around the region and around the world,” he said.

The criteria for nomination was town or cities with populations under 200,000, outside of major metropolitan areas, and with notable features.

Ballarat’s listing on the website mentions Meigas as a recommended eatery and Ballarat Wildlife Park as a must-see attraction.

Mr Greenspan said while most of the organisation’s customers were women over 40, it was younger people up to 35 that were looking for regional holiday destinations.

“We’ve already done it in Canada and the US,” he said.

“We’re happy to help the small towns in that people get really excited about it. Coming out of the box with newer and different things is what’s working online for new and younger audiences.”

To view the top 50, go to discountmyflights.com.au/traveltreks/australias-top-50-small-towns