Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Record numbers of Australians flocked to all regional areas of Victoria spending more money and staying longer, according to the latest National Visitor Survey for the year endng September 2017.

Regional Victoria experienced double-digit growth in domestic spend, visitors and nights, with spend up by 15.5 per cent to $5.8 billion, visitors up by 15.1 per cent to 15.6 million and nights up by 12.9 per cent to 44 million, all well ahead of the national regional average.

Domestic overnight visitors to Gippsland have grown by 29.8% since 2014, from 1.6 million visitors in 2014 to 2.09 million in 2017.

Over the last 12 months, the number of domestic visitors to Gippsland has grown by 34.4% for 2016-2017.

Victoria’s tourism industry is a crucial economic driver for the state, helping to employ hundreds of thousands of people, keep businesses full and enhance the liveability of local communities.

That is why the Andrews Labor Government is committed to investing in regional tourism in Gippsland through the capital improvements to major tourism infrastructure and getting events staged in Gippsland.

Capital improvements, such as the $48.2M to upgrade the Penguin Parade which one of go to place for international and domestic tourism, have contributed to Gippsland’s strong growth.

Major events such as Moto GP in March and the recent T20 Cricket match in Traralgon between the Hobart Hurricanes and the Melbourne Stars are keeping visitation strong in Gippsland.

The introduction of barramundi to the Hazelwood Pondage delivered a new tourism spot in the Latrobe Valley for anglers keen to snag a barra.

Through the Regional Events Fund, we are investing in the Phillip Island Food and Wine festival 2018 and the Island Whale Festival 2018.  The Latrobe Valley Authority is funding small events grants of up to $5000 which have been given to local organisations such as the Boolarra Folk Festival 2017 and Latrobe Open Studios 2017 to develop iconic experiences which boost regional economies and attract visitors from across Australia.

The results are in and they prove the Victorian Government’s investment in regional events and tourism campaigns like Wander Victoria have had a profound impact, increasing visitor spending, boosting local economies and creating more jobs.

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing:

“We have always known that Gippsland has something special to offer, so we are delighted to see that Australians agree.”

“But we won’t be stopping here – we’ll keep striving for growth, because more visitors to Gippsland, means more jobs for locals – and that’s what we are working for.”