Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) welcomes some strong commitments to grow the Victorian visitor economy in today’s state budget.
A highlight is the provision of $190 – $210 million for the Stage 2 development of MCEC which VTIC has long supported.
“VTIC is a long-standing advocate for the MCEC expansion,” said VTIC Chief Executive Dianne Smith.
“This announcement paves the way for the expansion which will allow Melbourne to continue hosting large scale international conventions and events that contribute significantly to Victoria’s economy and help drive visitation to regional destinations.
“We look forward to full details of the expansion’s design and timeframe for completion.”
Chair of the Victoria Events Industry Council Peter Jones was also pleased with today’s announcement.
“Together with the announcement of additional funding for major events, the MCEC expansion will further cement Victoria’s reputation as the events capital of Australia. It is important we continue to support the high-yield business events sector with essential infrastructure investment,” said Mr Jones.
The budget also includes a wide range of projects for regional Victoria, delivered through the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, many of which will support visitation to regional destinations.
Business throughout Victoria will welcome the $20 million in funding to support regional arts and culture, including a regional touring strategy for major exhibitions, performances and programs.
In addition, the Victorian visitor economy as a whole will benefit from the substantial funding allocated to improving public transport infrastructure and services, including significant road and rail investment and the trial of all-night public transport on weekends, commencing 1 January 2016.
VTIC notes that there is an absence of detail in the budget regarding tourism marketing and development.
“We look forward to working closely with the Minister and Treasurer to ensure that these government-funded areas are appropriately resourced to take advantage of the growth opportunities available to our state,” said Ms Smith.
“Overall this budget delivers many positives for the tourism and events industry and will help realise the jobs creation potential of our sector. We look forward to the outcomes of the Visitor Economy Review to further boost Victoria’s competitiveness.”
The VTIC team has prepared a more detailed summary of tourism items in the 2015-16 State Budget, which is available for download here.