Ask: $15 million for tourism regeneration for Great Ocean Road West and hinterland.
Tourism recovery(PDF, 593KB)
The Great Ocean Road region supports approximately 11,200 tourism jobs and has an estimated annual visitor spend of $1.5 billion.
A Parliamentary Inquiry into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism and events sectors (August 2021) indicated the Great Ocean Road region was the most adversely affected Victorian region by COVID-19.
The region saw the largest total decline in tourism spend of any Victorian region, shrinking to $1.1 billion or 25% in the six months ending June 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.
It also saw the largest declines both in domestic and international overnight visitors in 2020, decreasing by 40% and 57% respectively.
Tourism offerings along the Great Ocean Road are focused on the international market, which meant it was difficult for businesses to pivot to the domestic market when travel resumed. The closure of state borders and metropolitan Melbourne has created further uncertainty.
Lost revenue is the biggest issue, however, long term impacts include losing skilled staff to other areas and industries.
What we propose:
The western reaches of the Great Ocean Road region needs a dedicated program to support tourism re-design and recovery. This program combines events, experiences and product diversification to transition the region to better cater for a higher yielding domestic market and plan for the return of new international tourists.
The program will include:
- A local travel voucher program
- Interstate marketing campaign
- Signature winter event
- Signage and marketing for branded 12 Apostles Trails (Cycling and Food and Artisan)
These targeted funds would support The Great Ocean Road region to adapt its offerings, experiences and marketing to appeal to domestic visitors in the short-term and be in the strongest possible position to welcome back international tourists in the not-too-distant future.