Recently released statistics demonstrate continued strong growth in local tourism. Domestic overnight visitors to the Daylesford Macedon Tourism region grew at a substantially higher rate that the average for regional Victoria and other tourism indicators grew in parallel.

Visitation to the Daylesford Macedon Tourism (DMT) region is tracked through the National Visitor Survey and the International Visitor Survey.

Effective and targeted marketing campaigns, diverse and highly attractive tourism offerings and enhanced and new events are attracting day-trippers and overnight visitation to the region.  Daylesford Macedon Tourism, Hepburn Shire Council and the local industry are promoting tourist opportunities..

Mayor, Cr Tim Drylie, said he was pleased with the strong visitation results for the region. “A strong visitor economy means more jobs, business growth and benefits for our towns locals.  These results are solid and very welcome given the recent impacts of COVID on tourism and businesses,” said Cr Drylie.

DMT and Council have a strong focus on overnight visitation growth.  Overnight visitors spend four to five times as much per person as day trip visitors, ensuring sustainable and high-value tourism, rather than just volume.

Highlights from the Visitation Statistics for the 12 months ending March 2022 are:

  • Domestic overnight visitors: DMT region grew 41% year-on-year against a regional Victoria average of 26% growth.
  • Domestic Nights (nights spent in region): grew 37% Year on Year vs regional Victoria average of 13%.
  • Overnight visitor spend: the average spend per night is the highest in our region at $198 per person per night, against a regional Victoria average of $165.  The overnight visitor spend in our region for the year ending March 2022 was $276 million.
  • Daytrip spend: DMT region recorded 58% growth in daytrip spend against a regional Victoria average of 40% growth.  Daytrip spend is worth $158m for DMT.
  • The total tourism spend in our region for the 12 months ending Mar 2022 is $434million.

The news will be welcome for short-term accommodation providers. However, it means that freeing up some of this housing for the desperate long-term rental market will be even more difficult. And while the increased spend per overnight visitor is also welcome, a large portion will go to absentee land owners rather than remaining in the local economy.

Steve Wroe, CEO of Daylesford Macedon Tourism, said “COVID really put us all through the wringer.  To see such a strong recovery in this vital segment (tourism is critically important to Hepburn Shire’s economic fortunes) is really pleasing.  While we and the Council each do their bit, it is the tireless work and innovate on of our amazing tourism and hospitality businesses that I particularly want to acknowledge”.