Both major parties must commit to measures that make Victoria’s key tourist attractions more enticing to Asian visitors and attract additional cultural events to regional Victoria, said Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) Chief Executive Dianne Smith today.
In welcoming the Coalition Government’s commitment to expanding the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), Ms Smith called on policy makers to adopt complementary recommendations to ensure Victoria capitalises on the resulting visitor growth.
“VTIC applauds the Coalition Government’s decision to expand MCEC, and urges Victorian Labor to echo this commitment, for the significant benefit it will bring to Victoria’s business events’ and tourism sector,” said Ms Smith.
“Improving this facility will result in more visitors to our state, so there’s now more than ever a need to ensure we take the opportunity to grow jobs.”
VTIC calls for the major parties to commit to the following:
· Grow the events’ sector by establishing a dedicated sales team to secure new and expand existing regional medium-sized events.
Cost: $2 million annually
Estimated state-wide job creation: 600
· Make Victoria’s tourist attractions more appealing to the lucrative Asian visitor market through culturally appropriate upgrades to displays, ticketing and visitor information.
Cost: $7 million annually
Estimated state-wide job creation: 1600
Tourism could create nearly 9,000 additional jobs for Victoria over the next two years if the right policy settings are in place, according to VTIC research.
“As a growth sector in a rapidly changing economy, tourism has great job creation potential as it brings in visitors who spend money, which creates jobs and sustains communities,” said Ms Smith.
Ms Smith’s comments come ahead of the tourism industry’s celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Victorian Tourism Awards, which showcases the leading tourism products, experiences and services across the state.