Ballarat’s growing culinary scene and artisan products are continuing to be pushed as a driver of tourism.
Tourism and events minister John Eren announced on Wednesday Ballarat is set to host the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival regional Crawl n Bite series in 2019.
Mr Eren also announced funding for a Made of Ballarat pop up shop to open in Melbourne.
Visit Ballarat chief executive Noel Dempsey said more people would be able to experience Ballarat’s culinary delights.
“This is part of the program we have been working on, that what is successful in Melbourne can be done regionally,” he said.
It is testament to the wealth of product Ballarat has to offer the most discerning visitor.Noel Dempsey, Visit Ballarat
The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival’s popular Crawl ‘n’ Bite series takes diners on a walking tour, sampling food and drink at three separate venues in one evening.
The inaugural regional series will be hosted in Ballarat, Healesville and Kyneton in March over a selected weekend.
Mr Dempsey said the event will entice more people to enjoy Ballarat’s food and wine, but also encourage visitors to stay longer if packaged with an attractive extended itinerary.
Increasing overnight visitation has remained Visit Ballarat’s biggest challenge in recent years, while day visitation has continued to grow.
There are 2.96 million visitors to Ballarat per annum. Of those, 2.1 million are domestic day trip travellers.
National Visitor Survey data released in April revealed more than 55 per cent of domestic overnight visitors said dining at cafes and restaurants in the city was their main activity.
In a bid to encourage Melburnians to be intrigued in what Ballarat has to offer, Visit Ballarat will launch a Made of Ballarat pop up shop.
The shop, to be located in Melbourne’s CBD, will receive $100,000 funding through the state government’s regional events and innovation fund.
It will offer a range of products from goat’s cheese and locally made gin to handcrafted wrought iron and merino wool beanies, allowing the artisans featured in the Made of Ballarat campaign to reach a new market.
Watch the Made of Ballarat video below
The new tourism campaign is targeting affluent Melburnians in a bid to redefine the perception of Ballarat as a ‘trendy’ place which is home to talented creatives.
Renewed investment in promoting Ballarat’s culinary delights follows the announcement of a $50,000 grant for Plate Up Ballarat to develop a database of all producers in the Ballarat region earlier this month.
Visit madeofballarat.com/ for the full details of the campaign.
You can follow the stories of Ballarat’s artisans in our Made of Ballarat series:
- This couple’s obsession with backyard beekeeping is catching
- Owen Latta wins top Australian wine award
- Kilderkin Distillery puts Ballarat on gin map
- Hunting for black gold, Ballarat truffier prepares for next season
- Mick Nunn shares his journey to Salt Kitchen Charcuterie
- Ceramic artist Ruby Pilven features in new Ballarat tourism campaign
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