Loddon Valley Business Network Dinner

Published on 12 November 2015

PATRONS at a dinner meeting in Newbridge next week will receive a “behind the scenes” insight into the dramatic growth of tourism in the Bendigo region.

Tourism Development Officer at Bendigo Regional Tourism Bradd Worrell will be guest speaker at the next meeting of the Loddon Valley Business Network, planned for the Newbridge Hotel on Tuesday 17 November.

Mr Worrell said tourism contributed $530 million in total visitor expenditure to the economies of Bendigo and the Loddon Valley in 2013/14.

“I studied tourism and hospitality management at La Trobe University in Bendigo, after which I worked for a while in the Tourism Unit of the City of Melbourne,” he said.

“I followed this up with travel through more than 15 countries before signing on with the City of Greater Bendigo in 2010 as tourism development officer.”

Mr Worrell is now employed by the City of Greater Bendigo and splits his working week between Bendigo Tourism – a department of Council – and Bendigo Regional Tourism, a co-operative venture between the City of Greater Bendigo and the Loddon, Mount Alexander and Central Goldfields Shires. 

“We work together not only to promote the individual municipalities, but also the wider whole,” he said.

“We’re really trying to create a unified brand for the region, through such initiatives as a food and wine map, participating in the National Trust’s annual Heritage Festival and producing a new regional promotional video.

“Having the 2015 Great Victorian Bike Ride bring up to 3,500 cyclists into the area in early December is a huge opportunity and we’re working hard on a high-quality program to encourage those people to visit again.

“Bendigo Regional Tourism has also just finalised a $95,000 study known as a Destination Management Plan which highlights some key development priorities for the region.

“There’s a lot out there in terms of visitor experiences in food and wine, history and heritage and outdoor attractions.

“At the meeting on November 17, I’m hoping to give a snapshot of tourism’s growth in the Bendigo region, offer some solid success stories, discuss a few ‘educated risks’ we’ve taken and outline a few of the fruitful partnerships we’ve formed with other stakeholders and local communities.

“This work has been an ongoing investment over a number of years which is now bringing generous returns.”

The dinner starts at 6pm at a cost of $10, with the meeting to follow.

Bookings for the meal (and notification of any dietary requirements) can be made with Sandra Steel at the Loddon Visitor Information Centre on 5494 1257 or to ssteel@loddon.vic.gov.au