October 21, 2022 | By Graeme Kemlo | The Royal Mail Hotel in the Grampians

A report commissioned by Grampians Tourism says tourism to the area will double over the next decade and accommodation demand will outstrip supply within four years.

The report, commissioned by Grampians Tourism CEO Marc Sleeman, is effectively an investment prospectus that identified $100 million in opportunities for investment in the sector, from hotel resorts and luxury accommodation through to eco-pods and houseboats, estimated to cost from $1.4 million to $45 million.

Pre-COVID visitation to the Grampians National Park, known as Gariwerd, was growing at 7.5 per cent annually with nights spent growing at 7 per cent. Recent government expenditure in the area – $33 million in federal and state funds on the Grampians Peaks Trail and $7.76 million on the MacKenzie Falls walking trail – has already grown visitor numbers.

At about 350 km – or three hours’ drive – from Melbourne, the region was principally known for its nature-based activities with accommodation to match, however an interest in business events over the past decade has seen new focus on this higher yield visitor sector and properties now offer a broad range of meeting and event spaces. The Royal Mail Dunkeld, for instance, has added dedicated meeting space to its five-star accommodation.

Now, with the future potential growth identified in the report, local business owner Jo Gardner, managing director of Australian Wildflowers, is developing the $30 million Mt Zero Resort, with high-end luxury accommodation, a day spa, a 250-seat restaurant and café plus an events space.