The Victorian government has released a roadmap to help revitalise and grow the state’s tourism industry following the impacts of the bushfires and the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The four-year Visitor Economy Recovery and Reform plan was launched at the Victorian Tourism Conference at the Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday, with the conference itself a significant milestone as the largest gathering hosted at the venue since the pandemic.
The plan details support for a quick recovery for the domestic market and a framework to build a resilient sector that enables long-term growth.
It is underpinned by an investment of $633 million and serves as a whole-of-state strategy, with a goal of achieving $35 billion in annual visitor expenditure supporting 300,000 jobs by June 2024.
Informed by the findings of the Regional Tourism Review, the plan hopes to strengthen Victoria’s tourism offering through the development of new experiences, products and infrastructure.
The plan outlines strategies to attract more international, interstate and intrastate visitors by making the most of marketing expenditure, transforming regional tourism boards and ensuring statewide collaboration.
Victoria’s tourism industry suffered an estimated net loss of $19.5 billion in 2020 due to the effects of the pandemic and the early-year bushfires, representing a decline of 60 per cent from the previous 12 months.
The $633 million investment in the sector and its workers includes $465 million in initiatives announced in the Victorian Tourism Recovery Package – a centrepiece of the Victorian Budget 2020-21 – and a $152 million boost to the Major Events Fund to secure more crowd-pulling attractions.
Investments include $149 million in flagship projects in locations including Wilsons Promontory, the Grampians, the Great Ocean Road and the High Country announced last November and $46 million for 30 shovel-ready infrastructure projects confirmed in March.
They are complemented by Visit Victoria’s ‘Stay close, go further’ campaign to promote intrastate travel, and the Visit Melbourne campaign currently enticing visitors from interstate to explore the state.
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