BALLARAT'S newest accommodation centre will open its doors next week, as the first green shoots of recovery return to the city.
Quest Ballarat Station will opens its doors to customers on December 7.
Quest Apartment Hotels general manager of growth and capital strategy James Shields said regional locations continue to be buoyant and resilient, and Ballarat will be no exception.
"Quest Ballarat Station is quickly booking up over summer, as friends and family look to reconnect after such a tough year," he said.
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"Quest is primarily focused on growth in regional and suburban locations, where the corporate traveller needs to be. While the business market has retracted this year, we know it will go from strength-to-strength in 2021 and beyond, particularly with a number of major infrastructure projects happening in Ballarat."
The opening comes as confidence builds throughout the accommodation industry which bore the brunt of lockdowns throughout the year.
Sovereign Park Motor Inn's Tim Canny said the industry as a whole was feeling a lot more positive than in recent months.
"There's a lot of demand for regional travel at the moment and we're definitely noticing it in the bookings, but it could be expected that we'd see a lot of Melbourne people head this way after so long in lockdown," he said.
"The Christmas-New Year period will be very very busy, I've got no doubt we'll definitely fill but I think January will be weather dependent.
"If it's warm a lot will head to the beach and the coast, but if it's a bit cooler, I think we'll do well. It also helps that Sovereign Hill will be back to seven days a week after Boxing Day."
Mr Canny said he had hired five new staff in the past two weeks to cope with the demand and could do with at least two more people - either cleaners or maintenance workers.
"I think most places have had a good increase in business which is good," he said. "For short-term accommodation in Ballarat we're confident, but we're a little wary of long-term prospects.
"The home stay, AirBNB market is renting out to long-termers so there's less competition in that sense, but we've no doubt that will turn around again."