I would like to make a contribution on Tourism Victoria’s annual report for
2008-09. As most people will be aware, Tourism Victoria is a Victorian state
government authority which was established by the Tourism Victoria Act 1992.
Tourism Victoria is the mechanism which enables the state government to be
involved in tourism. There are essentially four action goals contained in this
report. They concern marketing, leadership, industry investment and aviation,
The highlights during the reporting period were, firstly, an
increase of 16.1 per cent in international visitor nights, equalling 35.8
million nights; an increase in market share of international visitors to a
record of 29 per cent; and a 13 per cent increase in international visitor
spending. There was also an 40.8 per cent increase in Chinese visitor nights,
and interstate overnight visitor spending increased to $3.7 billion. We also saw
domestic overnight visitors spend $281 million more in Melbourne than in Sydney.
It is also pleasing to see that Victoria experienced such
growth in interstate overnight visitors that it overtook Queensland as the state
most visited by domestic travellers.
The secret is out all over Australia that Victoria is a great
place to stay, play and holiday. It is predicted that over the next 10 years the
growth in international tourism will be of the order of 70 per cent. That is one
of the reasons it has been so important to secure new aviation services. Up to
and during the reporting period there were 30 additional weekly international
direct flights to Melbourne.
One of the key elements for the continued successful growth of
tourism in this state is knowing tourists can and will enjoy Melbourne, and that
will continue, but it is also to have tourists enjoy the riches of our regional
centres and experience the awesome natural physical and cultural attractions
beyond our regional centres, particularly in my electorate of Western Victoria
Our tourism growth will be exciting. We will continue to draw
tourists to iconic places such as the Great Ocean Road, but it is the excitement
of the new areas that are coming online, such as the volcano discovery tours and
Kanawinka Global Geopark, recently announced by the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organisation as well as Tower Hill and Lake Condah, to
name a few, that offers something different to tourists, international and
domestic alike. These places also bring new opportunities to western Victoria,
opportunities to tell ancient stories that are so new to so many of us.
The quote ‘You’ll love every piece of Victoria’, which sits
under the Tourism Victoria jigsaw, is the key to tourism growth, because we want
people to get to know and enjoy and plan return visits to every piece of
Victoria. I am especially keen on Tourism Victoria’s emphasis on regional
marketing, which is outlined on pages 22 and 23 of the report, and the
leadership action plan outlined on pages 48 and 49 that has growing regional
Victoria as its first port of call.
I take this opportunity to congratulate Dr Janine Kirk, chief
executive officer Greg Hywood and the Tourism Victoria board for their efforts
in positioning Victoria as a must experience tourism destination that includes
all of its bits and pieces.