Bendigo and Heathcote both win silver in Victorian Top Town Tourism Awards

Bendigo and Heathcote both won silver awards at the 2023 TAC Victorian Top Tourism Town Awards held at a ceremony last night.

Bendigo was awarded silver in the Top Town category in recognition of its heritage architecture, beautiful parks and gardens and its many attractions including the Great Stupa and Bendigo Art Gallery.

Heathcote received silver in the Top Small Tourism Town category for its stunning natural landscape, boutique wineries, walking and cycling trails.

Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf said the awards acknowledged Greater Bendigo’s incredible offerings for visitors.

“I am absolutely delighted that people have found Bendigo and Heathcote to be such wonderful and memorable places to visit,” Cr Metcalf said.

“This is a fantastic endorsement for all those who contribute to Greater Bendigo’s strong reputation as a must-see destination.

“We have a passionate and hard working tourism industry, including attractions, accommodation, retail, and hospitality providers that are proud to offer unique experiences and service for visitors of all ages and interests.

“Tourism is vital for our local economy because it supports a diverse range of businesses, generates job opportunities and keeps the spend local.”

The awards from the Victoria Tourism Industry Council also provided the opportunity for the public to vote for their favourite Victorian destinations, with votes counting towards the final scores. The awards had 17 towns from across Victoria in the finals.

It has been a huge year for arts and culture in the region with exclusive exhibitions including Australiana: Designing a Nation, and The Australian Women’s Weekly: 90 years of an Australian Icon at Bendigo Art Gallery. Bendigo received rave reviews for being the first regional centre in Australia to stage Richard Wagner’s famous opera, the Ring Cycle, three times over five weeks at Ulumbarra theatre attracting visitors from across Australia and abroad.

In 2022, Bendigo won gold in the Top Tourism Town category and Heathcote won bronze in the Top Small Tourism Town Award category.

Bendigo went on to win silver nationally in the Australian Tourism Town Awards.

This is the third year in a row that both Bendigo and Heathcote have reached the finals in the Victorian Top Tourism Town Awards.

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