By Wayne Kayler-Thomson
During this Victoria Tourism Week, the local tourism industry is celebrating the economic and social contribution it makes to the state.
Tourism is not just a big employer, with 193,000 Victorians working in the industry but it also contributes $15.2 billion annually to the state’s economy. The industry also supports regional development, infrastructure investment and innovation.
While Victoria Tourism Week celebrates the value of the industry, it also provides a chance to look forward to identify what challenges the industry faces.
The industry is dealing with a downturn in traditional markets, a high Australian dollar and a downturn in global conditions. However, the Victorian tourism industry and its operators are resilient and, with some assistance from government, will adapt and continue to thrive.
In order to retain and improve on our enviable position in the sector, the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) is seeking the following commitments from the State Government:
- Funding the extension of the Melbourne Exhibition Centre
- Lobbying for international airport status for Avalon Airport
- Reforms in relation to zoning that recognise tourism as a land use in the planning system
- Streamlining the approvals process for tourism related developments
- Developing Victoria’s nature based tourism capacity by facilitating appropriate and sustainable visitor facilities and services in and close to National Parks
While Victoria is attracting more and more visitors, we can’t rest on our laurels and it’s up the industry and government to work together to make sure we’re also one step ahead of our competitors.
More information about Victoria Tourism Week can be found at www.victoriatourismweek.com.au. Wayne Kayler-Thomson is the former CEO of VECCI and current Deputy Chair of VTIC.