By VTIC Chief Executive Dianne Smith
Tourism creates jobs and delivers economic prosperity to communities right across our state. With the right strategies and support in place, it can be one of the leading industries driving Victoria’s growth in the coming decades.
Latest statistics show international visitor expenditure in Victoria grew 6.7 per cent to $4.8 billion in the year ending March 2014, while the number of international overnight visitors grew 10 per cent year-on-year to 1.99 million. It’s safe to say that our industry is definitely doing something right, but to secure further growth we can’t afford to be complacent.
Victoria is competing with developing destinations all over the world. Indeed, the introduction of instantaneous online bookings and low cost airlines remind us just how competitive our industry is. So what can we do to ensure Victoria capitalises on its tourism potential?
We need to be unrelenting in our advocacy of the importance of the sector. People need to be aware that tourism is a significant economic driver and that it is an essential part of the employment mix in our regional communities.
We need to understand the future opportunities, particularly the booming Asian visitor economy and how we can best position ourselves to appeal to this market in the coming decades.
Also important is ensuring that there is a continued partnership between government and industry and an acceptance that both share the cost of achievement and the spoils of economic success.
The 2014 Victorian Tourism Conference has been developed with the future in mind. To be held from 14-15 July at The Pier Geelong, the conference will feature an impressive program of speakers who will provide key insights into the future and help us continue be a strong and sustainable industry. I’m looking forward to some inspiration, especially from our international keynote speaker Anna Pollock.
I invite you to attend the 2014 Victorian Tourism Conference and share your business stories, challenges and triumphs. An industry that learns together, earns together. Make sure you book by midnight on 7 July.
We look forward to seeing you in Geelong!