A ratepayer-funded trip to a World Heritage cities congress in Krakow next month will cost less than half the sum originally set aside.
Originally projected at around $13,000, the journey is now due to cost $5,000, after organisers offered to fund travel for Susan Fayad, the City of Ballarat Council's coordinator of heritage and landscape.
Ms Fayad will help run sessions on sustainable tourism and managing historic urban landscapes.
Mayor Samantha McIntosh will also attend the event, which runs from June 2 to 5.
There are 13 Central Highlands councils, including the City of Ballarat, involved in a long-running campaign to gain Unesco World Heritage listing for the Goldfields region.
Representatives of the councils hope that achieving the listing - described as "the world's most recognised tourism brand" - will help draw funding and tourists.
We believe as a group of municipalities, we need to be planning now. There's enormous interest in the Goldfields region.City of Ballarat Mayor Samantha McIntosh
They hope to emulate the success of Cornwall in England, which gained World Heritage status for its historical mining sites in 2006.
James Guy, who manages the council's economic partnerships, says that Cornwall showed the effect World Heritage status can have on a community. "[It had] some of the poorest areas in the UK, and leveraged enormous social benefit," he said.
Cr McIntosh says recent feedback suggested the bid - which council officers say could bring $68 million to the local economy each year if successful - is in good shape and World Heritage status could happen sooner than hoped.
Ms Fayad said that the number of people who specifically set out to visit World Heritage sites was surprising, and that the goldfields region could see a significant boost in visitors.
"We believe as a group of municipalities, we need to be planning now," Cr McIntosh told The Courier.
She also said it was important to be engaging with heritage experts internationally as part of the bid.
Ballarat will be the only overseas city that does not currently have World Heritage status with representatives invited to the congress.
"What that says is they have enormous confidence in what we could be," Cr McIntosh said. "There's enormous interest in the goldfields story."
While in Krakow, Cr McIntosh will also visit the Rynek Underground, a subterranean attraction beneath the market square, as well as the city's waste-to-energy plant.
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