Gippsland South The Nationals Tourism Funding Danny O'Brien Coronavirus restrictions Coronavirus recovery

Gippsland tourism marketing needs urgent action

Gippsland Nationals MPs have called on the Andrews Labor Government to provide urgent stimulus for the Gippsland tourism industry as coronavirus restrictions begin to ease.


The Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull said he was very concerned that there was little to no Victorian tourism marketing at the moment while other states were aggressively targeting Victorians.


“Our East Gippsland tourism sector has been absolutely smashed by drought, bushfires and now coronavirus and as restrictions ease, we need to be in the market promoting our region as a destination.


“It alarms me that New South Wales and other states are already actively marketing in our social and traditional media fields, but Victoria is nowhere to be seen,” Mr Bull said.


“East Gippsland needs urgent support to help our businesses to recover.”


The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, who raised the matter with the Minister for Tourism in Parliament today, said Victorian Government tourism agencies seem to be following the same extremely conservative approach of the Andrews Labor Government on the easing of restrictions.


“Until yesterday the Visit Victoria website still referred the opportunities for tourism in Victoria when restrictions ease - even though overnight stays have been allowed since Monday and were announced nearly 10 days ago,” Mr O’Brien said.


“We need an active campaign of marketing for Victoria to encourage domestic tourists to come to Gippsland and support those businesses that have been so badly affected in recent months.


“The official health advice allows people to stay overnight, and it’s time the government put some serious money into a campaign to encourage people into our regions.”


The Nationals Member for Eastern Victorian Region, Melina Bath said tourism was a critical jobs driver and one of the worst-hit industries that would take time to recover.


“Just a few weeks ago we had the government announce $150 million for cultural, tourism and sporting organisations, but nothing for marketing of regional Victoria,” Ms Bath said.


“While there was specific support for government-owned attractions such as Phillip Island Nature Park and Puffing Billy, there was nothing for region-specific marketing for Gippsland.


“We need the government to proactively promote Victoria, and in particular regional Victoria and Gippsland to ensure that the pent up demand that exists domestically from people being stuck at home for the last few months can be directed to where it helps Gippsland businesses the best.”


L-R The Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull with The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria, Melina Bath and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O'Brien


3 June 2020

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