Rochester named as top tourism town finalists

Tourist attraction: The Rochester region and its silos have drawn considerable interest from tourists. Now the town has earned a nomination in the Top Tourism Town Awards Photo by Geoff Adams

Rochester is among 18 Victorian locations named as a finalist in the Top Tourism Town Awards.

There were 30 towns involved in the initial judging and the winners of the state award will be announced in July, with 25 per cent of the judging criteria based on a pubic vote.

Among the remaining 17 finalists names on Friday were Echuca, Bendigo, Heathcote and Shepparton, a public vote among the three components of judging criteria.

Public voting opens today (Tuesday, May 10) at 9am — closing on May 31 — and both of last year’s inaugural Top Tourism Town Awards, Ballarat and Port Fairy, are among the 2022 finalists.

Ballarat won the population over 5000 (Top Tourism Town), which is the category Echuca has been nominated for this year, while Port Fairy won the title for population under 5000 (Top Small Tourism Town Award).

Lakes Entrance took the Silver Award for Top Tourism Town, followed closely by Bendigo, which was awarded Bronze. For the Top Small Tourism Town category, Timboon was awarded Silver and Apollo Bay achieved Bronze recognition.

The two Victorian gold winners competed for the title of Australia’s Top Tourism Town with Port Fairy receiving Silver in the category of Australia's Top Small Tourism Town.

In the category with Echuca, Bendigo and Shepparton are Lakes Entrance, Frankston, Mildura, Mount Macedon, Sorrenton and Werribee.

Rochester, aside from reigning title holder Port Fairy and Heathcote, is up against the likes of Timboon, Noojee, Fingal, Flinders and Airey’s Inlet.

Echuca Moama Tourism has developed videos for the Awards and the itineraries are based around this visual.

The two videos can be viewed at (Echuca) and Rochester

NSW judged its top town awards earlier this year, with Moama and Moulamein among the finalists.

Victoria’s top tourism town and the top small tourism town will be announced in July, followed by the national judging and eventual announcement of Australia’s best two tourism towns in August.

Rochester and Echuca will now have the opportunity to showcase the tourism offerings of the town as a great visitor destination and to raise awareness of what is special and unique about their town.

The three components of the judging process are a written submission, worth 65 per cent of the total score available, a consumer review involving visitors to the town and the public vote.

A long-standing partnership with Prime7 will provide the winners of the 2022 Victorian Top Tourism Town Awards with airtime packages worth $10,000

The winner of the small town tourism title will also receive a Storytowns “Townscape” Podcast on Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon Music, iHeart, Omny, Deezer, Audacy, JioSaavn, Gaana and Storytowns Apps.

Identities from the winning town will be interviewed to uncover the best story of their town.