Monday 18 June, 2012
Grace Kelly: Style Icon has set a new record for the number of people who travelled with V/Line to see a major exhibition.
The Bendigo Art Gallery exhibition of costumes, gowns and accessories resulted in up to 22,500 people travelling to see the exhibition, a 48% increase on the number who travelled to see the 2011 White Wedding Dress.
Up to the end of May 18,839 people had travelled with V/Line see the exhibition.
V/Line Marketing and Stakeholder Relations General Manager Paul Matthews said it was expected the final figure would be up to 22,500 after patronage figures are collated for the final few weeks of the exhibition.
"We are rapt with the result and it demonstrates the strong partnership we have in place with the Bendigo Art Gallery and Bendigo Tourism to bring people to the city," he said.
"Our trains were so busy we had three daily peaks – the morning, afternoon and Grace Kelly peak. Weekend travellers to Bendigo were mostly visitors from Melbourne visiting to see the exhibition.
"A lot of people complimented not only the exhibition, but also the tourism volunteers who greeted travellers and tourists at Bendigo Station when our trains arrived.
"We know a lot of those visitors were from Melbourne and have attended previous exhibitions the Gallery has hosted including the White Wedding Dress and The Golden Age of Couture.
"Having a warm and welcoming presence not only at the station, but at the gallery, cafés, restaurants and accommodation helps ensure visitors will return in the future."
Bendigo Art Gallery offered a 20% discount on adult entry to the exhibition for travellers who presented their V/Line ticket at the box office.
The exhibition had already visited Monaco, Rome, New York and London before its exclusive visit to Bendigo.
City of Greater Bendigo Tourism Executive Manager Kathryn Mackenzie said the success of the exhibition had cemented the region as the Victorian regional capital for arts and culture.
"The exhibition has demonstrated not only will people travel to high quality events and exhibitions, they will travel by train where there is a fast and reliable service,” she said.
"Many of our sessions were sold out weeks in advance and local restaurateurs and accommodation providers reported increases in their takings.
"We will look forward to partnering with V/Line in the future for our next major exhibition."
Grace Kelly: Style Icon was open from 11 March to 17 June.
*The 18,839 visitors was the patronage tally up to 31 May, 2012. Final patronage figures will be known in the next few weeks as tally sheets are collated.
Visitors by V/Line train
- 2009 Castlemaine State Festival: 3570
- 2011 Castlemaine State Festival: 4070
- Golden Age of Couture (2008): 14,250
- White Wedding Dress Exhibition (2011): 15,200
- Grace Kelly: Style Icon Exhibition (2012): 18,839