ANOTHER state government strategy report has reinforced calls for more investment on tourism infrastructure along the Great Ocean Road.
The report released by Tourism Minister Louise Asher also calls for continued maintenance and upgrades to preserve it as a key asset and iconic touring route.
Ms Asher said the 2013-2016 strategy set out the Coalition government’s vision for Victoria to be a leading tourism and events destination in the Asia-Pacific region and for tourism to continue to be a significant contributor to the Victorian economy.
“Tourism is a major contributor to Victoria’s regional economies, is worth $10.9 billion to regional Victoria and employs almost 110,000 people,” she said.
“This strategy provides the foundation for regional areas to benefit from the growth of tourism from overseas and includes a range of experiences that satisfy the aspirations and cultural interests of visitors from growth economies.”
However, the Victoria Tourism Industry Council said more funding was needed to encourage more people to venture beyond Melbourne.
The report says tourism contributed $1.83 billion to the Great Ocean Road regional economy in 2011-12 and employed 20,000 people.
“It is important to note the Great Ocean Road supplies the second highest contribution to Victoria’s tourism gross regional product, ranking only behind Melbourne,” it says.
Future opportunities are: to support investment in attractions and products that increase overnight visitation; to continue to build on the supply of high-quality accommodation development; to leverage the $50m commitment by state and federal governments for work on the road.
The strategy supports recommendations in the Great Ocean Road destination management plan released earlier this year which calls for more nature-based tourism investment, a masterplan for private sector investment, cruise ship visits and investment for the Aboriginal community.
Priorities in the strategy for the Grampians region also include investment in high-quality tourism attractions and infrastructure. Investment recommendations include development of the Grampians Peak Trail.