The south-west is a popular post-coronavirus holiday destination with new data revealing three areas are enticing travellers.
Booking.com announced the top searched destinations in Victoria from Australia-wide users included Halls Gap in second place, Apollo Bay came in sixth and Warrnambool was the seventh most searched city in the state.
Mini Golf by the Sea owner Jane Holland was delighted to hear the city had placed in the top 10 destinations and said her business has been booming since coronavirus restrictions had eased.
"The school holidays were really busy for us with travellers primarily from this side of Melbourne like Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo," she said.
"Since the end of the holidays, we've had busier than normal weekdays. We're generally pretty quiet in between holidays but I've definitely noticed more people coming in throughout the week.
"In my mind, people are thinking we're not going overseas so let's do regional travel. Most people said they just needed to get away for a couple of days and I had the feeling people were staying here for a few days.
"We're gearing up for summer now. It will be different depending on the restrictions but all is good here."
Ms Holland said her clients had all respected the current restrictions in place.
"Everyone was just lovely and obeying all social distancing and masks," she said.
"I think every business has had to step up to get their COVIDSafe plans in place. But our social distancing and density limits have been manageable."
Deep Blue Hot Springs and Hotel marketing manager Lauren Orero said many tourism businesses had been actively promoting the city as a holiday destination.
"It is encouraging to see interest in Warrnambool especially as we had been putting a lot of effort in key regional Victorian locations pre-COVID with digital, television, radio and billboard campaigns," she said.
"This way we can create awareness for the Hot Springs and position Warrnambool as a wellness destination.
"For now, we're continuing to focus on our immediate audience in regional Victoria.
"We're also leveraging destination and regional tourism-led campaigns to position our accommodation, hot springs, day spa and restaurant facilities as a key part of the Great Ocean Road experience."
Since the easing of restrictions, Ms Orero said south-west residents and travellers had been craving wellness experiences.
"We've seen an eagerness to regain a sense of physical and emotional health which led to a very good response to the reopening of the hot springs," she said.
"The spring school holidays did not perform as well as the winter holidays in terms of overnight conversion.
"This is naturally attributed to an increase in local visitation, increased day trips from easy reach locations and of course the inability for guests to travel from Melbourne or interstate."
Grampians Tourism chief executive Marc Sleeman said it was encouraging to see Halls Gap placed second in the most searched holiday destinations.
"This data is fantastic but it's not surprising that people are looking for place to escape," he said.
"The data echos people desire to look for a nature connection and space to breathe after lockdown and the Grampians has lots of places for people to escape too.
"I heard from Booking.com that after the last easing of restrictions, the Grampians region had high occupancy rates as well."
Mr Sleeman said the national park is expecting to get even busier as further restrictions ease.
"We're expecting a very busy ending to 2020," he said.
"The last couple of weeks including the school holidays have been busy and now we're ensuring we're managing through the restrictions opening and making sure our region remains safe.
"There's an expectation interest will increase again as Melbourne opens up."
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