The month of May has seen the delivery of Federal and State Budgets with mixed results.
At a State level, there were some positive funding announcements but also some gaps. The positive announcements included an additional $25 million over 2 years for Visit Victoria, an additional $20 million funding for the Major Events Fund, $10 million for planning of a Melbourne Airport rail link, and significant funding for tourism infrastructure located in Melbourne such as the next stage redevelopment of Melbourne Park. Unfortunately, tourism infrastructure projects in regional areas did not receive critical funding, with key priorities like the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan, Geelong Convention Centre and Puffing Billy missing out. VTIC will continue to advocate strongly for regional priorities. For more information on the State Budget, please read our press release here
At a Federal level, the Budget was a missed opportunity for the Victorian tourism and events industry. The increase in visa application fees and the new levy on businesses using the temporary skill shortage visas are likely to reduce our competitiveness as a tourist destination. In some positive news, the Federal Government has allocated $25 million for upgrades to the Great Ocean Road and $30 million for planning of a Melbourne Airport rail link, adding to Victoria’s $10 million for this project. For more information on the Federal Budget, please read our press release here.
Last month, we highlighted that we had partnered with Eureka Skydeck to raise awareness about an organised crime syndicate using stolen credit cards and popular Chinese social media portal WeChat to run a multimillion-dollar ticketing scam. VTIC is continuing to explore practical solutions to this problem and we are planning to run another forum for those impacted shortly so stay tuned for further details.
I was very pleased to represent VTIC at a strategic planning session for Museums Victoria, designed to include all staff and stakeholders on a process to plan the future of such an important part of Victoria’s cultural offer to Victorians and visitors alike.
Business Events Victoria hosted their Regional Showcase at Melbourne’s fabulous Regent Theatre, showcasing the very best that regional Victoria has to offer for the hosting of events and conferences in what was a first class display.”
Entries are now open for the 2017 RACV Victorian Tourism Awards, with 13 regional workshops scheduled for May/June. Finally, the program is all but finalised for the Victorian Tourism Conference in July and bookings are coming in, so don’t delay and secure your place now (include link).