THE ‘welcome mat’ is out across South Gippsland and Bass Coast for what’s set to be one of our biggest Melbourne Cup weekends ever.

All, or very nearly all, accommodation is already booked out, mostly with inquiry from travel-starved Melburnians desperate to get out and about.

“It’s going to be huge,” said Norm Wilkins at Prom Coast Holiday Lodge where all five of his cottages have been booked out.

“It’ll be busy, very busy for sure. Most places I’ve spoken to are also booked out.”

Wilsons Prom and Phillip Island are the most popular but Inverloch’s holiday rentals, B ‘n’ Bs and motels are also heavily booked as well.

“We’re only a small motel, 10 units, but we’re booked out,” said operator of the Inverloch Central Motor Inn ‘Kimmy’.

All 211 villas at the Ramada Resort on Phillip Island are likely to be booked out as well.

“We’ve been flat chat, very flat chat,” said a Ramada spokesperson.

“We manage 150 of the villas and there are only a few left. We’ll be booked out for sure.”

Christele at the Wilsons Prom Motel in Foster has a few rooms left but she’s taken the venue off the third-party booking sites to be sure of the bookings herself.

“We’ve had lots of inquiry, all of it from Melbourne as you’d expect,” said Christele.

Holiday rentals on Phillip Island have been long gone, according to Greg Price of Alex Scott and Staff at Cowes.

“Full,” was his concise comment.

“It’ll be bigger than Christmas here over Cup weekend. And you can double it, with day-trippers, if the weather is good,” Mr Price said.

Saturday and Sunday will be cool, 15-16 degrees, but turning warm on Monday and Cup Day (Tuesday, November 2).