INTERNATIONAL investment will probably be needed to build world-class facilities for luxury-market tourists on the Great Ocean Road.
A major new report outlining potential to build major projects worth about $480 million has been released to stimulate interest by governments and the private sector.
It was produced for Regional Development Australia of which Warrnambool City Council chief executive Bruce Anson is chairman of the group’s Barwon South-West region.
He told The Standard yesterday the report showed a clear lack of infrastructure for high-income tourists wanting to indulge themselves. “I would think meeting this high-end market is about looking at international investment opportunity,” he said.
“This is the most extensive document ever done on a destination management plan for the Great Ocean Road.
“It’s about putting the vision out there for implementation by councils, governments and the private sector. We now need to find champions for the various segments.”
He said the report was prepared by consultants at a cost of $120,000, took about eight months to prepare and included information contained in previous reports about market gaps and potential.
The report points to the need for more high-quality accommodation.
“Evidence from wholesalers indicates that luxury international travel in the Great Ocean Road region is almost non-existent,” the report said.
“The core reason for this is the lack of product targeted to this market.”
Major projects cited in the report would generate hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in spin-off.
A $100 million Loch Ard interpretive centre near Port Campbell is estimated to have a total short-term impact of $282 million on the state economy during its construction phase and contribute more than 710 full-time jobs in the short term including 283 directly on the project.
It would generate an estimated 99 full-time jobs a year and in the long-term would have a total economic impact of $20 million on the state economy.
A suggested $35 million upmarket resort at Port Campbell would create 249 full-time jobs in the short-term and 195 full-time jobs a year, including 80 people directly employed in its operations. The short-term economic benefit for Victoria is estimated at $76m with an annual benefit of $19m.
A proposed $54 million investment on Lake Condah indigenous heritage areas is estimated to contribute more than 181 full-time jobs in the short-term and 40 full-time jobs during its operations.
The project would contribute an estimated $100m to the state economy in the short-term and $8m a year in the long-term.