GRAMPIANS businesses experienced strong trade as tourists took advantage of nice weather at the Queen’s birthday long weekend.
Grampians Tourism chief executive Will Flamsteed said operator reports pointed to a positive weekend.
“There was a lot of people out and about enjoying a different side to the Grampians,” he said.
“The main street of Halls Gap was busy, with lots of people around.
“We had a few great days with the weather too, which helped.”
Mr Flamsteed said waterfalls were a popular attraction.
“All the waterfalls are flowing at the moment because of the rain,” he said. “People also took the opportunity to visit the cellar doors near Great Western and Hamilton and enjoy some good food and wine by the fire.
“Indoor attractions were more popular.
“We also had people go shopping for Grampians produce and take it back to their accommodation, cook up a storm and enjoy some wine.”
Mr Flamsteed said while visitor numbers tended to slow throughout the colder months, Grampians Tourism tried to promote other activities for winter tourists.
“Numbers are no where nears as positive as autumn or spring,” he said.
“Our winter campaign is centre around food and wine.”
Halls Gap Tourism committee member Geoff Watts said accommodation was completely booked out in town. He said businesses were pleased with the boost in tourism.
“Long weekends are usually really good for us,” he said.
“Even the larger accommodation places, that don’t usually fill up, were booked out.”
Mr Watts said Halls Gap was a good place to visit, even in winter.
“People love coming here,” he said.
Mr Watts said the effect of the Grampians Peaks Trail was not being felt yet.
“Only part of it is open, so it’s not making a difference to tourism yet, but I expect in a few years it will attract more people,” he said.