The TAC Victorian Top Tourism Awards ceremony was held on 26 July, with two local councils winning silver. 

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

Heathcote was the recipient of silver in the Top Small Tourism Town category for its natural landscape, boutique wineries and walking/cycling trails. 

Mayor of Greater Bendigo, Andrea Metcalf, said that the Top Tourism awards acknowledge the incredible offerings that Greater Bendigo has  for its visitors. 

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

“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.”

This year’s awards mark the third year in a row in which both Bendigo and Heathcote have reached the finals in the awards. 

It has been a huge year for the art and culture throughout the Greater Bendigo region with exclusive exhibitions being held at the Bendigo Art Gallery. Bendigo also received rave reviews for being the first regional centre in Australia to stage Richard Wagner’s famous opera which attracted visitors from across the country and abroad. 

The awards from the Victoria Tourism Industry Council also allowed for members of the public to vote for their favourite destinations in Victoria, with votes counting towards the final score. 

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