Having the Australian National Piano Award in Shepparton every two years has a flow-on benefit to tourism in the region.
The award was on here last week and concluded on Saturday, which meant the city had been the focus of media attention far and wide in the lead up and during the course of the competition.
The award garnered national media attention on outlets such as ABC News Breakfast, which resulted in a free plug for the region.
But it was not just the coverage of the event that created great inroads when it came to attracting people to the region.
The 14 finalists who descended on Shepparton stayed here for an entire week, with some returning to compete in the award for the second time.
Every time the award is on, the contestants are hosted by families and this has proved to be a point of difference between the Australian National Piano Award and other elite piano competitions, resulting in the pianists feeling warmly welcomed to the region.
They are chauffeured around, visiting attractions such as Dookie’s stunning canola fields, and can practice to their heart’s content on their host family’s piano.
It is a result of the event organisers treating the contestants like royalty that the finalists hold the Australian National Piano Award experience in such high esteem.
With the 14 finalists coming from all over the country, they will go home and remember the region fondly.
They are likely to recommend the Goulburn Valley as a fantastic Victorian holiday destination filled with welcoming people.