The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) welcomes the release today of the State Government’s Regional Tourism Strategy but is disappointed by the lack of associated funding.
“While Melbourne has demonstrated continual growth, tourism results in some of Victoria’s regions are concerning,” says VTIC Chief Executive Dianne Smith.
“This must be addressed, but real government action with appropriate resourcing is crucial.”
“We are pleased that the Regional Tourism Boards (RTBs) are in place to effectively market and attract investment into Victoria’s many tourism assets, and we wish them continued success in performing their wide ranging functions. Regional Tourism Boards will drive industry engagement and success in local areas and we encourage operators to get behind these organisations.”
The long-awaited Victoria’s Regional Tourism Strategy 2013-2016 outlines how Tourism Victoria will address regional tourism challenges in the next three years, in line with directions set out in Victoria’s 2020 Tourism Strategy. Tourism is an important contributor to regional Victoria, generating $10.9 billion and employing 109,000 people in 2011-12.
“Tourism is the lifeblood of many regional communities, not only economically, but also in the cultural and social contribution it makes. The State Government must work across portfolios to achieve positive results for all regional Victorians. Positive and decisive leadership from government is essential as many regional economies look to diversify,” Ms Smith says.
“Overnight expenditure by international visitors to regional Victoria fell by more than 20 per cent in the year ending June 2013 and it is essential that this decline is arrested.
“Government must show its support for our industry by immediately allocating funding for a dedicated marketing program to encourage Australians to venture beyond Melbourne and explore the wonderful experiences on offer in regional Victoria.”