The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) welcomes measures to support tourism in today’s budget, but is disappointed the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) expansion was not catered for.
“Tourism creates jobs and delivers economic prosperity to communities across the state and as one of Victoria’s most significant economic drivers, it is pleasing to see the budget provide for several industry priorities,” says VTIC Chief Executive Dianne Smith.
“VTIC and its industry colleagues have championed these causes for some time and congratulate the State Government for making them a priority in the budget.”
Intrastate marketing, regional tourism products and an international aviation attraction were among the tourism-related initiatives to receive funding.
However Ms Smith says VTIC urged the State Government to include expansion of MCEC in its self-described “infrastructure budget”.
“The industry is disappointed that the State Government has not allowed for MCEC’s expansion at a time when infrastructure was a significant focus of the budget,” says Ms Smith.
“An investment in business events is an investment in high yield economic activity, which is vital to boost the soft employment market in tourism and allied industries.
“Should Melbourne continue to lose its grip on the international events and exhibitions market, the economy will suffer and jobs will be lost.”