A New Way Forward For Tourism In Regional Victoria

Victoria’s regional communities are invited to have their say on the future of tourism across the state following the release of the Regional Tourism Review Discussion Paper.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula and Review Special Adviser and Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas today also confirmed details of an extended consultation stage.

The release of the Discussion Paper continues consultation held over the past few months across regional Victoria as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s program to enable improved outcomes for tourism and regional communities.

The Regional Tourism Review, launched in March, aims to find opportunities to better support tourism operators, encourage private investment, create more regional jobs and enhance local communities.

Figures released this week put the value of Victoria’s visitor economy at $30 billion, supporting 214,000 jobs including 86,000 in regional Victoria.  While regional Victoria has some of Australia’s premier natural, cultural and food and wine attractions, private investment, visitation and spending are below their potential levels.

Visitors to Victoria spend on average 36 cents in the dollar across our regional sectors, below the national average of 43 cents in the dollar. Closing this gap would add $3.8 billion to the Victorian tourism economy.

The Discussion Paper has identified five key themes: strengthening our tourism offering, making the most of marketing spending, supporting industry, enhancing Regional Tourism Boards and better coordinating effort.

A series of regional consultations with tourism industry stakeholders will be held from July to September, while members of the public are invited to make submissions through the Engage Victoria website.

The stakeholder forums will be held in the nine regional partnership areas, starting in Ballarat on Friday, 26 July.

To view the Discussion Paper and have your say before the August 30 deadline for public submissions, visit engage.vic.gov.au/regional-tourism-review.

Quote attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula

“The Regional Tourism Review aims to find out how the government can best support our regions and maximise the opportunities available to grow visitation and support local businesses and jobs.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes

“We need to hear the voices of community members and local tourism operators from across regional Victoria, to tell us first-hand the opportunities that exist and challenges they’re facing.”

Quote attributable to Review Special Adviser and Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas

It’s been a pleasure to meet with tourism representatives and community members from across regional Victoria, to listen to their stories and learn about conditions on the ground as a guide to this next stage of the review.”