Improved connections between tourist destinations are the key to unlocking multi-night itineraries and boosting the region’s visitor numbers, a peak body representative says.
Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) chief executive Felicia Mariani said tourism transport solutions were needed to boost visitation. “If we created these seamless touring routes that allowed people to engage with regional destinations without having to go back through Melbourne, it could have a big impact on overnight visitation to some of our regional areas,” Ms Mariani said.
“One of our election priorities is around tourism transport solutions and the importance of finding or creating ways for our visitors to travel across the state when and how they want to.”
VTIC is calling for state and federal governments to commit to funding key projects placing “tourism at the heart of Victoria’s economic agenda”.
She said investment and improvements to the Cowes to Stony Point Ferry Project and Queenscliff to Sorrento Ferry Terminals would connect eastern and western Victoria and encourage tourists into the south-west. “It means our visitors can create a multi-night itinerary,” she said.
“They could do the Sydney to Melbourne coastal route across on the ferries, connecting with the Great Ocean Road (GOR) and onto to the Great Southern Touring Route (encompassing Geelong, the GOR, the Grampians and Ballarat) which has a massive benefit in keeping people travelling on a multi-night itinerary.
"That Great Southern Touring Route is so important because it brings people through Port Fairy, Portland and up and into the Grampians region.”
Ms Mariani met with local business and government leaders in Warrnambool on Monday as part of its 2018 State Election Regional Roadshow. VTIC has developed a five-point plan to create jobs and support business in the visitor economy. It looks at promotion and the key issues affecting the sector’s growth.