Today’s funding announcement by the Andrews Labor Government for the upgrade of the Penguin Parade at Phillip Island is a win for tourism, regional development and the environment.
The $48.2 million provision for the redevelopment of the Phillip Island attraction in the 2016-17 State Budget is a much needed investment in one of Victoria’s iconic nature-based tourism experiences; one that will create 620 new jobs and potentially increase visitation by more than 20 per cent over the next decade.
Chief Executive of the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) Dianne Smith welcomed the announcement. “Phillip Island’s Penguin Parade is popular for all visitors, and it is one of the top three regional attractions for Chinese visitors,” said Ms Smith.
“China is a huge market – 490,000 overnight visitors in 2015 alone – and it is growing. It is vital that our attractions are equipped to cater for the increasing number of visitors, so that the experience is engaging, of the highest quality and protects this important state asset.”
“The Penguin Parade upgrade is also a great example of what investment in tourism can do for regional communities – more new jobs, more new visitors, all of which will attract more money into the local economy,” said Ms Smith.
VTIC looks forward to more positive outcomes for the visitor economy in next week’s 2016-17 State Budget. Tourism and events are growth industries for Victoria, contributing $19.6 billion to the state economy each year and employing more than 200,000 people.