PORT Fairy is traditionally full in summer, but this season could be one for the record books.
The town has been busier than ever, according to locals, with businesses booming, accommodation at capacity, and a packed program of Moyneyana Festival events giving tourists and locals plenty to do.
Port Fairy Business Association’s Ken Brookes said he was only hearing good things from fellow traders.
“Generally speaking there are more people on the street than in previous years,” Mr Brookes said.
“The Moyneyana committee has done a fantastic job of providing entertainment and that keeps people in the town.”
He said the recent opening of four new restaurants and cafes in Bank Street had added to the good vibes.
“Bank Street is really coming into its own – I don’t think there’s a shop space left,” Mr Brookes said.
“Port Fairy’s almost become the hospitality centre of the south-west.”
Port Fairy Visitor Information Centre’s senior tourism officer Sharon Parker said visitation at the centre was up by 1300 people for December compared with 2015.
Ms Parker said she expected January’s figures to also be above last year’s.
“There are people everywhere – there’s quite a buzz in town,” she said.
She said the boom times were expected to continue.
“We’ve had a lot of inquiries about the jazz festival (in February) … and it will be the 70th Moyneyana festival next year, so that’s going to be a bumper year. It’s looking good for the future.”
Moyne Shire councillor and Port Fairy resident Jordan Lockett said he was hearing good things from traders.
“They’re so busy – they’re flat out but they’re enjoying it,” Cr Lockett said.
“They’re making hay while the sun is shining, but the sun seems to be shining all year round now with the jazz festival, the Folkie, the winter weekends and the spring music festival.”