Visitors to Mitchell Shire spent about $85million in the shire in 2017, led by a major spike in people taking day-trips to the area.
According to Tourism Research Australia, there was a 19.2 per cent increase (from 583700 to 695600) in the number of visitors to Mitchell Shire from 2016 to 2017.
This was highlighted by a 22.4 per cent increase (532000 visits, up from 435000) in domestic day-trip visitors.
There was also a 9.9 per cent spike in people taking overnight trips to Mitchell and a 16 per cent jump in international overnight visitors.
The rise in domestic visitors specifically has contributed heavily to the local economy, with domestic day-trip visitors spending about $48million in the shire in 2017 and overnight visitors spending about $37million.
Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said the area had a lot to offer and it was encouraging to see visitor numbers on an upward trajectory.
‘‘Our community knows what a special place Mitchell Shire is and we want to share that with the wider community, whether that is people from Melbourne, other parts of regional Victoria, interstate or internationally,’’ Cr Sanderson said.
‘‘Mitchell Shire is a hidden gem with many drawcards and these growing visitor numbers reflect that.
‘‘There really is something for everyone in Mitchell, from our rich military heritage, historic buildings and the picturesque Goulburn River to wineries, providores, walking tracks, equine events, rail, miniature rail and tramway attractions, art galleries and the Great Victorian Rail Trail.
‘‘Our proximity to Melbourne and other regional centres such as Bendigo and Shepparton make Mitchell a very attractive day-trip option, which is fantastic for our local businesses and the profile of our community.’’
Mitchell Shire Council, along with the Murrindindi, Strathbogie and Shepparton councils, created the Goulburn River Valley Tourism (GRVT) organisation and have adopted the Heart of Victoria as its regional brand.
GRVT aims to promote tourism and visitation across the region and highlight the many things to see and do in the heart of Victoria.
For more information on things to see and do in Mitchell Shire, visit www.mitchellshire.vic.gov.au or www.heartofvictoria.com.au