The state’s peak tourism industry body has today welcomed the release of guidelines outlining the process for private investment in sensible, appropriate and sustainable tourism infrastructure in Victoria’s national parks.
Victoria Tourism Industry Council Chief Executive Dianne Smith says, “Investment opportunities, such as those enabled through the new guidelines, will bring us in line with other Australian states and territories that already allow private investment in national parks.
“Victoria has the highest national park visitation in the country, yet the economic yield from this visitation is the nation’s lowest. This is largely due to the lack of appropriate infrastructure and experiences available to visitors.
“By allowing appropriate investment, these guidelines will make our national parks more accessible for locals and visitors to appreciate the natural beauty that Victoria has to offer, and ease the economic burden currently on government to maintain and develop these places.
“The recent Australian Tourism Awards highlighted some fantastic nature-based offerings in Tasmania. Nature-based tourism is a huge draw card for those travelling to Victoria as well and we must work hard to produce competitive offerings. These changes will encourage and facilitate investment in sensitive, appropriate and sustainable tourism infrastructure.”
Victoria’s tourism industry contributes almost $16 billion to the state’s economy each year and employs more than 204,000 people.
“Tourism diversifies the economy, particularly in regional Victoria, and infrastructure built for use by tourists adds greatly to local communities as well,” says Ms Smith.
“We are pleased that the process is designed to be as simple and efficient as possible. We will continue to encourage investment in appealing and appropriate infrastructure and experiences to ensure our growing tourism industry continues to contribute to our economy.”
VTIC looks forward to working with the State Government as these changes are implemented and encourages the Government to keep building on the momentum established through the release of these guidelines.