As international interest in Victoria as a tourist destination grows, the tourism industry is calling on the State Government to turn its investment focus to infrastructure to support both existing and prospective markets.
A recent report from Tourism Research Australia noted that in 2010-11, tourism’s contribution to Australian gross domestic product (GDP) was $73.3 billion, or a 5.2 per cent share of the Australian economy.
Tourism is an important contributor to the nation’s GDP and employment throughout Victoria.
Major trading partners like China and India offer significant inbound growth markets for tourism. While we struggle with the effects of the high Australian dollar, we need to capitalise on international interest and make sure Victoria remains competitive in its tourism offerings.
VTIC contributed to VECCI’s 2012-13 pre-Budget submission to the Victorian Government, in which several key projects that would stimulate international interest and investment in the state were highlighted.
We need strategic new investment to support Victoria’s tourism and events industries, including the implementation of natural icon infrastructure projects with a focus on attractions such as the Grampians Peaks Trail and the Great Ocean Road Interpretive Centre.
There also needs to be a strong focus on supporting Melbourne Airport to be Australia’s premier airport, flanked by Avalon in the west and an airport in the south east. International status should be granted to Avalon Airport to help further direct visitors into our regional areas.
This attention to regional tourism and transport is vital. Our regions play a key role in attracting overseas visitors, especially in the food and wine, spa and wellness, and nature-based tourism areas.
Opportunities should be explored to enable Victoria’s regional airports to take greater traffic to boost tourist and business traveller throughput into the regions and to capitalise on major events that occur nationally and locally.
In Melbourne, the extension of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre would position the city as the nation’s premier event host to our international business visitors.
To read a summary of VECCI’s 2012-13 pre-Budget submission, click here.