More people spending money across the region

By Jena Carr

Tourism is “booming” in Geelong and the Bellarine, with more people spending money across the region and its events, according to recent data.

Results published by the National and International Visitor Survey on March 27 found that Geelong and the Bellarine’s total domestic expenditure was 72 per cent higher than 2019 levels.

City of Greater Geelong mayor Trent Sullivan said more people were discovering the “unique charm” of Geelong and the Bellarine, and the region opened its arms to newcomers.

“The Greater Geelong region is a vibrant and booming holiday destination, attracting 11 per cent of Regional Victoria’s entire tourism spend, and trending upwards,” he said.

“We have wonderful offerings year-round. From award-winning wineries through to sporting events and cultural performances, boutique stays and stunning nature trails.

“Some exciting events to look forward to in 2024 include upcoming AFL rounds at GMHBA stadium, The National Celtic Folk Festival, A Day on the Green with Chris Issak, and many more.”

Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine launched its 10-year Sustainable Destination Master Plan last year to increase visitation, accommodation, employment, and visitor spending by 2032.

Strong investment in the state’s visitor economy and blockbuster major events generated a record high of $37.8 billion in tourism spending across Victoria in 2023.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos said it was great to see the state’s visitor and events sectors thriving and looked forward to seeing the industry grow.

“This record tourism spend is proof that visitors come from across the globe to see our blockbuster events, experiences and destinations,” he said.

“From culture to sport and music, we’re investing in the tourism industry so it can continue to grow and thrive, supporting thousands of jobs and businesses across the state.”