Table of Contents
An Economic Benefit Assessment, prepared by TRC Tourism and MCa consultants, has found a World Heritage listing offers the potential to accelerate regional recovery and provide long term economic, social and cultural benefits for the Central Victorian Goldfields region.
Importantly, the report highlights the capacity of World Heritage listing + targeted infrastructure investment to disperse tourism benefits more evenly across the region, not just in the major tourist areas of Ballarat and Bendigo, which would otherwise not be the case.
Key findings highlight how World Heritage listing will grow the region’s visitor economy progressively over time, with the return continuing to increase each year. By the tenth year following World Heritage listing, in comparison to business-as-usual tourism growth, there would be:
- An additional 2.2 million new visitors to the region
- An additional $440 million spent in the local economy
- Growth in visitors related to the World Heritage bid alone will lead to 1,750 additional jobs
- Regional income (direct and indirect wages, salaries, and profits for business) would have increased by $150 million.
Growth in overnight visitor numbers will create demand for additional accommodation, both hotel and family type accommodation. This increase in accommodation will occur progressively over time and is estimated that it will need in the order of $570 million total investment. This accommodation will provide a long-term foundation for the tourist industry and will service the market for many years beyond World Heritage listing. Increased investment will also improve local quality of life and provides an opportunity to attract new residents as a place to live and work.
The report was launched by The Hon John Brumby AO, The Hon Dr. Denis Napthine AO, Mayor Cr Daniel Moloney (City of Ballarat), Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf (City of Greater Bendigo) and Mayor Cr Tim Drylie (Hepburn Shire Council), along with partner Councils and the Victorian Goldfields Tourism Executive on 6 October 2022.
- The detailed projections outlined in the Economic Benefits Assessment report are required as part of a World Heritage nomination relating to the ‘projected levels of tourism’ and ‘visitor facilities and infrastructure … to meet the needs of visitors’ (UNESCO).
- Findings delivered in the Economic Benefits Assessment report relating to the visitor economy are needed to attract the level and type of public and private infrastructure investment required to support a World Heritage listing over the long-term and disperse sustainable tourism benefits across the region’s local communities.
- The Economic Benefits Assessment report includes projections about the economic, social, and cultural benefits to be derived from a World Heritage listing in the Central Victorian Goldfields. This information is needed for securing funding to deliver the bid and to deliver a World Heritage master plan for targeted infrastructure investment across the region (i.e. a grant application requirement).