The State Government is helping businesses bounce back along the Great Ocean Road following the Wye River fires with funding now available to stimulate tourism and attract visitors to the area.
Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford today (22 February, 2016) approved $425,000 in funding from the $1 million Great Ocean Road Economic and Community Recovery Fund, announced by Premier Daniel Andrews in January this year.
The funding addresses immediate concerns about a potential fall in accommodation bookings and aims to boost visitor numbers in the lead up to Easter and the school holiday period.
Second to the Christmas – New Year period, Easter is a key time for local tourism related business to generate revenue.
Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism Inc (GORRT), in partnership with Colac Otway Shire Council and Surf Coast Shire Council, has identified a range of activities to increase bookings in the lead up to and over Easter and improve traffic into the winter period – including destination marketing, brand asset development, events support and a domestic advertising campaign.
GORRT and the two councils will form a reference group and will engage with local business and tourism networks in rolling out activities.
The Government’s $1 million Economic and Community Recovery Fund is in place to support medium to long term recovery priorities identified by the Regional Economic Recovery Sub-Committee. Eligible projects include:
- New tourism promotion events and opportunities to grow visitation
- Small infrastructure projects, particularly those that enhance visitor experience
- Community-led recovery initiatives that support the ongoing sustainability of critical community organisations in Wye River, Separation Creek and Kennett River
- Initiatives aimed at building economic and business resilience
- Guidelines for the Fund have been developed and will be distributed through the two councils and the Community Resilience Committee as it is established.
“This much-needed funding boost will be critical for local tourism in the lead up to the Easter holidays. With the added attraction of the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, now is a great time to plan a trip to the Great Ocean Road,” said Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford.
“These funds will assist the region and individual destinations to drive tourism from Melbourne and regional Victoria through autumn and winter – with a timely reminder about the wealth of activities the region offers. GORRT has worked with industry and community leaders to develop a suite of destination action plans aiming to grow the visitor economy for the region, which benefits destinations in the short term while laying the foundations to build a more sustainable and resilient visitor economy,” said Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism Chair, Wayne Kayler Thomson.
Source: State government media release