The Melbourne Writers' Festival has received funding of $12,500 from the Victorian Coalition Government to attract more visitors to the annual celebration of literary arts.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louise Asher said the funding under Tourism Victoria's Events Program would be used to promote the next innovative chapter of the event nationally.
Commencing in August, more than 350 international and local writers will visit Melbourne for more than 300 events held throughout the CBD and Melbourne's inner suburbs.
"The Writers' Festival enhances Melbourne's reputation as a cultural tourism destination, with more than 50,000 people attending last year's event. The event generates vital business for our local tourism and hospitality sectors," Ms Asher said.
"Our arts and culture play a key role in attracting visitors to our state. For the year ending December 2011, an estimated 2.8 million domestic overnight visitors to Victoria participated in a cultural experience while in the state.
"This represents 16.7 per cent of all domestic overnight visitors to Victoria. These visitors accounted for an estimated 10.1 million visitor nights to Victoria in the period," Ms Asher said.
The Melbourne Writers' Festival was one of four pillars which formed part of Melbourne's successful bid to earn the prestigious UNESCO City of Literature title.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts Heidi Victoria said the Coalition Government was committed to increasing Melbourne's profile as an artistic and creative hub.
"The Writers' Festival perfectly suits Melbourne's winter mood. Our wonderful galleries and museums complement the festival to showcase the city as the ideal place to be inspired and refreshed," Ms Victoria said.
The $12,500 in funding from the Government's Tourism Victoria Events Program will be used to promote the event through key interstate cultural organisations and events such as the Sydney Writers' Festival, Byron Bay Writers' Festival and the NSW Writers' Centre.
This funding is in addition to Arts Victoria's contribution of more than $268,000 to this year's Melbourne Writers' Festival.
The 2012 Festival will be held in venues throughout Melbourne from 23 August to 2 September 2012.