Strategies to improve tourism

INVESTMENT into Gippsland’s national parks such as the Tarra Bulga tree-top walk, the coastal wilderness walk and the Gippsland Lakes have been listed among actions to stimulate Gippsland tourism.

The natural investment plans and upgrades to water-based facilities, including marinas and ocean access points, are featured in the recently announced Victoria’s Regional Tourism Strategy 2013-2016.

The Tourism Victoria strategy considers marketing, digital excellence, events, investment attraction, infrastructure support and industry development policies.

The strategy revealed tourism contributed $1.05 billion to the Gippsland economy or 10.5 per cent of the gross regional product.

The Gippsland tourism industry employed 10,700 people between 2011 and 2012 and it was estimated tourism directly represented 3.6 per cent of the total regional economy – below the average 4.5 per cent for regional Victoria.

Promoting digital marketing, including listings, images and content with Tourism Victoria’s website will be another strategy aim.

This includes industry assistance in online marketing and booking opportunities or ‘e-marketing’ and ‘e-booking’ respectively, with a focus on ‘e-booking capacity accommodation in Wilson’s Promontory National Park.

Destination Gippsland marketing manager Andrew Wilson said digital marketing was a major area for the region to focus on, with the ability to book online using mobile applications, through the operator’s direct website or online booking sites.

Mr Wilson said some regions and businesses may still have internet connectivity challenges and would need assistance and education along the way to operate online.

“Digital marketing will look to assist businesses’ online listings, quality imagery and link to Tourism Victoria’s website – the main website for the region,” he said.

State Member for Morwell Russell Northe said Gippsland was fortunate to have strong tourism advocate groups in the region such as Destination Gippsland, Latrobe City Business Tourism Association and the Walhalla and Mountain Rivers Tourism Association.