VTIC welcomes today’s announcement by Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula of $15.2 million to drive visitation and spend in the critical Murray and Mallee tourism regions.
Next week’s State Budget will include $10.3 million to upgrade walking and cycling tracks as part of the Murray River Adventure Trail and a further $4.9 million to upgrade the Mallee Silo Art Trail.
VTIC CEO Felicia Mariani said this kind of investment in game-changing infrastructure across Victoria will help to push the much-needed recovery of the tourism industry into over-drive.
“VTIC has worked closely with industry to identify critical infrastructure projects that could help to support the recovery of the sector and drive improved tourism outcomes across the state. It’s magnificent to see that two of the projects that we identified in April have made the list for planned investment,” Ms Mariani said.
In August of 2019, VTIC made a formal submission to the Review into Regional Tourism in Victoria noting the need for serious investment in regional infrastructure development.
“Victoria has underinvested in its regional accommodation and experience development when compared to other states, lagging 10% behind the national average. This dearth of investment has worked against efforts to get visitors to travel further, stay longer and spend more in regional Victoria,” Ms Mariani said.
Regional visitors in Victoria also spend less proportionately when compared to the rest of Australia. In Victoria, 36 cents of every visitor dollar spent, is spent in regional areas. That same figure nationally is 43 cents, making Victoria the weakest performer across all states.
“VTIC is calling for $1.3 billion over four years to be dedicated in the budget to recovery of the sector. While some of that ask is focused on investing in dedicated marketing and promotional activity, a large proportion was earmarked in infrastructure and experience development across Victoria.
“That’s why VTIC is thrilled to see these investments becoming reality, as they are so critical to our recovery from the Coronavirus crisis that has decimated the sector. The industry is hopeful this announcement will herald the turnaround of many years of under-investment in tourism infrastructure in our great state, and a partnership with the State Government to set Victoria on a trajectory for tourism growth over the next five years.”