Thursday, February 29, 2024

Ballarat events in tourism award spotlight

Two Ballarat events have been officially recognised at the 2023 Victoria Tourism Industry Council Tourism Awards.  

The Begonia Festival and the Ballarat Heritage Festival were both honoured as finalists at the gala awards ceremony on Thursday night at Crown Palladium.

The Begonia Festival was a finalist in the Major Festivals & Events Category, while the Heritage Festival was a finalist in the Festival & Events category.

The Heritage Festival is no stranger to the tourism awards spotlight, having taken out gold at both the 2021 Victorian Tourism Awards and National Tourism Awards in 2021.

City of Ballarat Mayor, Des Hudson said being named as a finalist was a justified recognition of the extraordinary impact the events had on Ballarat.

“Being honoured like this is tremendous because these events truly are something to behold,” he said.

“The amount of work that goes into them cannot be underestimated and they are incredibly important for Ballarat in terms of driving visitation, enhancing our reputation, and instilling a real sense of pride in our city.

“Our events are bouncing back in a big way after the pandemic, and I can’t wait to see what is on offer for the next 12 months.”

In 2023 the Begonia Festival returned to its traditional three-day format and was met with overwhelmingly positive feedback.

It attracted an estimated 65,000 people and contributed $4.5 million to the Ballarat economy.

Centred around the beautiful Lake Wendouree, the event featured live music, brilliant performances, delicious food and drinks, markets, celebrity guests, activities and workshops and of course, the stunning Begonias and garden displays.

The Heritage Festival has been a staple on Ballarat’s events calendar since 2006 and continues to grow and evolve every year.

The 10-day festival was held in May and attracted about 20,000 attendees to the various events.

More than 100 events were delivered as part of the Heritage Festival, with the City of Ballarat working closely with many diverse community groups.

Both events are key drivers as part of the Ballarat Events Strategy 2018–2028, which provides a 10-year blueprint to build on the current successes, enhance Ballarat’s competitive position and drive an increase in visitor nights and expenditure in the city.

The Ballarat Events Strategy 2018–2028 aligns closely with Goal 5 of the City of Ballarat Council Plan 2021-2025: A strong and innovative economy and city

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