Over 20,000 visitors have made their way through Port Fairy during the December and January holiday period according to Moyne Shire figures.
Moyne Shire communications officer Tim Marshall said the numbers were strong after the best summer weather in 30 years.
“There has been so much to see and do around our region at this time of year,” Mr Marshall said.
“All of our caravan parks were at capacity over the Christmas/New Year week and into the middle of January.”
Highlights for the summer period included the Christmas and New Year’s Eve events, alongside the popular Moyneyana Festival.
Stand up paddleboarding along the picturesque Moyne River was another very popular activity for tourists, Mr Marshall said.
“Port Fairy offers the quintessential Aussie beachside holiday delivered with old world charm, perfectly located along the Great Ocean Road,” he said.
“The national exposure of the Wotif announcement created a longer shoulder season providing more opportunities back to our local operators.”
Corangamite Shire was also busy, with accommodation options along the coast – including caravan parks and recreation reserves – at capacity, generating regular and strong referral to inland options.
With accommodation full and an increase in day visitation from surrounding regions, dispersal onto the 12 Apostles Food Artisan Trail was strong and ensured plenty of visitor flow through towns and businesses in towns like Timboon,” a shire spokesman said.
“The summer market continues to strengthen and grow in numbers of visitors.
“This is improving economic return as new businesses and beds are enabled by an expanding visitor economy.
“We did observe a slight downturn at the beginning of the fourth week after Christmas (13 – 20 January) where it seems that the traditional family domestic holiday makers departed ahead of the general increase in International visitation and domestic couples market we experience from late January until April.
“These markets often travel later on a perception of cheaper prices and more availability, which is not always the case.”