MORE than $300 million was spent in the Grampians region in 2017 as visitor numbers reached a 10-year high.
The region experienced a 37.3 per cent increase on interstate visitors from 2016 to 2017 – higher than any other area in the state.
Domestic visitors also increased by 22.7 per cent.
Northern Grampians mayor Tony Driscoll said it was an extremely pleasing result for the entire region.
“The significant take home message from these figures is that visitor spend has also increased,” he said.
“This will have a marvelous benefit on our region and it’s only going to improve.”
In 2017, visitors spent $335 million in the region, which was a 91.2 per cent increase from 2016, where visitors spent $175 million.
Cr Driscoll said when tourists came to the region, there spend often reached towns outside the Grampians.
“The curiosity of visitors is great because they often discover other treasures while they are here,” he said.
“They might come for one specific event, but then they also decide to go to Halls Gap or St Arnaud, so it has a flow-on effect.”
Cr Driscoll said he expected visitor numbers to continue to grow in the future.
“We have the Grampians Peaks Trail that is continuing to evolve and will attract more people,” he said.
“We also have more major events in the region – this weekend of Easter activities is a perfect example.”
Cr Driscoll said more music festivals and events such as the Grampians Grape Escape also contributed to the tourism boom.
“We are good at celebrating the uniqueness of the region and we have been trying to make the destination better and better,” he said.
Cr Driscoll said he encouraged business owners and tourism operates to capitalise on the increased tourism and spend.
“I commend the work of businesses in the region and Grampians Tourism and I implore them to make the most of this boom, which I know they will,” he said.