The Andrews Labor Government will look to find new ways to grow tourism and support regional Victoria, through a review into the regional tourism industry.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said tourism was one of regional Victoria’s most important industries, with 40 per cent of total tourism employment based outside Melbourne — creating jobs and helping local economies thrive.

Regional Victoria is unrivalled when it comes to things to do, see, explore and taste, yet international visitors make up just 3 per cent of overnight visitors to the regions compared to 22 per cent in Melbourne.

International expenditure and overnight visitation in our regions has also declined by 2.6 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively over the past 12 months.

In light of this, the Labor Government has ordered the Regional Tourism Review to ensure our regions are being offered the best support and opportunities to grow visitation and boost local businesses.

There are also many opportunities to boost overnight stays and expenditure from Melbourne visitors to the regions. To do this, the Regional Tourism Review will look at opportunities to better support tourism in the regions, enhance private investment and create more regional jobs.

The Regional Tourism Review will be led by Special Adviser and Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas, who will lead consultation in regional communities and oversee the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions’ work in delivering the review.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula:

“In an increasingly competitive national and international tourism marketplace, it makes sense to routinely review the support we give to regional Victorian tourism operators.”

“Tourism is the backbone of jobs in regional Victoria, accounting for one in every ten jobs. Through this review we will strengthen employment opportunities and open new markets for our thriving sector.” 

Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development, Jaclyn Symes:

“Regional Victoria has the best of everything – incredible food and wine, breathtaking rivers, beaches, mountains and adventures – there is something for everyone.”

“We want more people to experience the best that Victoria has to offer, spending both time and dollars in our regions and growing our vibrant tourism industry.”

Quote attributable to Regional Tourism Review Special Adviser, Mary-Anne Thomas:

“We know that regional Victoria has the best of everything, but we also know there is untapped potential. This review will address that and find new ways to develop and promote the unique experiences regional Victoria has to offer.”