Victorians are being encouraged to travel to regional Victoria to support bushfire-affected businesses and kick-start the road to recovery.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula was in the Gippsland Lakes region yesterday and today, meeting with tourism operators and hearing about the impact of the fires and how the community could help.
Towns including Lakes Entrance, Metung, Paynesville and Loch Sport have the welcome sign out for fellow Victorians looking for a break now and over coming months.
Visitors are also being encouraged to travel to the High Country with Bright, Beechworth, Rutherglen and Mansfield among regional centres welcoming visitors.
The Victorian Government will provide Destination Gippsland and Tourism North East each with a $200,000 grant to pay for a staff member to work directly with tourism operators and to coordinate campaigns, and to help harness e-commerce opportunities to connect with potential visitors.
The Government’s `Business & Sport for Bushfire Recovery’ program is one practical initiative that has won strong backing, with more than 150 organisations taking the pledge to hold conferences and events in regional Victoria.
The Government’s tourism and events company Visit Victoria today confirmed it would hold a management team conference over two nights in Lakes Entrance within the next six weeks as part of the program.
Among other confirmed `Business & Sport for Bushfire Recovery’ plans:
- The Victorian Trades Hall Council will run a 40-person strategy forum over two days at Merrijig in March.
- Cricket Australia will host a number of departmental meetings in both the North East and East Gippsland for two or more nights, for 20 people at a time.
For more details on `Business & Sport for Bushfire Recovery’ go to businesseventsvictoria.com/bushfirepledge.
Visit Victoria is rolling out advertising across television, print, radio and online using the slogan “A short visit goes a long way” to encourage Victorians to travel to all parts of the state.
Keep up to date at all times with current bushfire warnings and advice at emergency.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula
“The most practical thing that ordinary Victorians can do right now to help these regions is to travel there and spend money there.”
“It will not only create amazing memories for families and kids, it will also provide vital support to our bushfire affected communities as they recover and rebuild.”
Quote attributable to Visit Victoria chief executive Brendan McClements
“Visit Victoria is proud to have signed up to the Business & Sport for Bushfire Recovery program and we encourage businesses large and small to consider doing the same to help regional communities.”