The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has called for the establishment of a regional tourism fund that will help Victorians back to work and back in business.
Communities throughout Ms Lovell’s electorate of Northern Victoria Region have been hit hard by drought, bushfire and now the coronavirus pandemic. Travel bans put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 meant visitation to country Victoria was smashed overnight.
If bold steps are not taken now to restore the local tourism sector, our regional tourism businesses – which employ an estimated 86,000 Victorians – will never recover.
Ms Lovell has called for a dedicated $200 million Regional Tourism Fund to be immediately established by the Andrews Labor Government to support our country communities and bring visitors back to regional Victoria.
With an aim to return the tourism sector to June 2019 bed night accommodation levels by June 2021, this Fund should provide targeted support to tourism in different regions to:
- assist operators to get back on their feet,
- promote Victorian tourism destinations, and
- upgrade tourism related infrastructure.
Last year the Andrews Government spent more than $100 million on self-promotional advertising, such as its multi-million dollar ‘Big Build’ campaign. All Andrews Government self-promotional advertising must be immediately scrapped and redirected into promoting regional Victorian tourism.
The Andrews Government should also fast-track the completion of local tourism projects and upgrade nature-based facilities to bring visitors back to regional Victoria.
Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell:
“With restrictions being eased, now is the time to take bold action to restore confidence and jobs to regional economies throughout Northern Victoria Region.
“The Liberal Nationals propose a $200 million Regional Tourism Fund to encourage visitors to come to country Victorian communities and help businesses get back on their feet.
“The many people in our community who rely on tourism to pay the bills and put food on the table are counting on the Andrews Government to get them back to work and back in business.”
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