Ballarat was awarded Gold in the Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) 2021 Victorian Top Tourism Town Awards held in Bendigo on Wednesday night.
The awards are decided through both a judging panel and a public online vote and are a strong indication of Ballarat’s ongoing development as a fantastic tourism destination for the rest of Victoria.
Lakes Entrance was awarded Silver and Bendigo was awarded Bronze.
Port Fairy was awarded Gold in the Small Town category, with Timboon being awarded Silver and Apollo Bay awarded Bronze.
As the winning town, Ballarat will now represent Victoria in the National Top Tourism Town Awards in Canberra on 2 September.
Mayor Cr Daniel Moloney said he was thrilled with the announcement Ballarat is the top tourism town in Victoria.
“Of course that’s no secret to us, and we are so thankful and grateful for our community and visitors getting behind this accolade,” Cr Moloney said.
“Tourism has been heavily affected by the pandemic but we know Ballarat is held in the highest possible regard, not only from the tourism professionals that judged this award but by the community here in Ballarat and visitors who have rated their experience in the highest possible way.
“We thank our biggest contributors, the businesses and operators who contribute to making Ballarat Victoria’s top tourism town. We also thank the VTIC for making this award possible.
“We would also like to acknowledge the invaluable support of Ballarat Regional Tourism, Committee for Ballarat and Commerce Ballarat in making this win possible through their strong support of tourism in this region.”
Ballarat Regional Tourism Chair Paul Martino said: “This is fantastic recognition for Ballarat’s visitor economy sector, which has been through a very tough 18 months.”
“It is very worthy recognition of both the industry offerings and the people who work in the sector,” Mr Martino said.
“It shows the amazing support the visitor economy sector has in the Ballarat region, as well as valuable recognition of the role it plays in the local economy.”