VTIC today welcomed the Andrews Government’s $465 million Victorian Tourism Recovery Package as a bonanza that will support the sector to rebuild after devastating bushfires and coronavirus shutdowns.
VTIC CEO Felicia Mariani said strong investment announced ahead of the 2020-21 Victorian State Budget would ensure the state’s visitor economy had the very best chance of not just recovering, but actually thriving and growing over the next three years.
“The Victorian Government understands the state’s visitor economy can drive our economic recovery. This $465 million commitment to our future is unprecedented and is the result of close collaboration with government departments to set a course for recovery,” Ms Mariani said.
“VTIC worked with the industry to develop submissions to the Regional Tourism Review last year, and convened a taskforce to develop a Visitor Economy Recovery Plan. Many of the elements funded today were highlighted in these submissions as vital to our future growth.”
The funding package will support game-changing infrastructure development to drive visitation across the state, an area where Victoria has fallen woefully behind our major interstate competitors.
The Andrews Government also announced $58 million over three years to support the marketing and promotional activities undertaken by Visit Victoria to drive intra and interstate visitation, as well as $28 million to support a regional voucher scheme.
“Victoria’s investment in accommodation and experience development in regional areas is 10% behind the national average. This chronic underinvestment has led to Victoria being the worst performing state when it comes to visitor spend in our regional areas,” said Ms Mariani.
“In particular, Victoria has lagged the rest of the country in investing in its nature-based tourism assets to create unique and compelling experiences in our beautiful natural landscapes. The significant commitments in this year’s budget will finally reverse the pattern, with hundreds of millions of dollars invested to truly super-charge our tourism performance.”
When the full budget is handed down on 24 November, VTIC is hoping to see other significant announcements to support Melbourne through the revitalization of our business events, major events and aviation sectors.
“The announcement today has been magnificent for regional Victoria, but we must also recognise the need to bolster the urgent recovery of Melbourne in this mix. The formation of a Greater Melbourne Tourism Recovery Forum will be a critical first step in mapping out what’s needed to set the city on its road to recovery,” Ms Mariani said.
“VTIC congratulates the Andrews Government on this bold step to invest in the state’s future by rebuilding and growing our tourism and events industry.”