Local News

Council defends de-funding Visit Ballarat after tourism boost

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The City of Ballarat has defended its move of cutting funding to Visit Ballarat after positive tourism numbers were released earlier this week.

Figures released by Tourism Research Australia this week saw day trip visitation to Ballarat increase by 200,000 to reach 3.3 million visitors a year from April 2018 to the end of March this year.

But council says despite the immediate quarterly increase, the overall picture of tourism for the region is considerably bleaker, noting that they fail to get value for money out of their investments compared to other nearby areas.

Council says they invest around $6 million a year into tourism, which provides a return of $484 million from tourism services.

Nearby, Bendigo spends $3.8 million that returns a $479 million output, while Geelong, which is twice the size of Ballarat, spends $4.9 million for close to a billion dollar return.

Council elected to cut the funding to the tourism body in a controversial move last month to bring the services in house, maintaining their stance that the decision involved several factors, including removing a duplication of tourism services and a financial saving between $300,000 to $500,000 a year.

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