Local News

City of Ballarat to take control of Visit Ballarat

Ballarat Town Hall 700x467

Visit Ballarat will have its funding cut under a move that will see tourism move to the City of Ballarat.

Mayor Samantha McIntosh says a duplication of costs and roles between council and the tourism organisation is behind the change, saying council needs to streamline the process.

The tourism board of Visit Ballarat will decide the fate of the executive team, including CEO Noel Dempsey. It's unclear how many jobs will be affected by the move.

Visit Ballarat broke the news to stakeholders in an email last night, saying the general services and funding agreement currently in place will be terminated from September 30. 

The City of Ballarat will then resume governance of tourism in Ballarat, as well as the day-to-day management and delivery of Ballarat's tourism services.

Council says they will be bolstering departments to take on a stronger tourism focus, and that they expect tourism in the area to grow, as well as general tourism-associated jobs. 

Cr McIntosh notes that the work of Visit Ballarat has been incredibly valuable to the area, but that it's a costly duplication of services and staff, and changes need to be made to ensure tourism services are properly integrated with council from an economic perspective. She adds it's an unnecessary expense to have two services running side by side.

The City of Ballarat will continue to deliver the tourism program as it has been, with council having a "strong tourism team" on board. 

Visit Ballarat has been responsible for delivering marketing, with council not ruling out that some of those jobs could possibly move across to the council.

Ultimately, Cr Samantha McIntosh says the change will result in a bigger, better and bolder Ballarat.

Image via Victoria Tourism Industry Council.