Martin Ferguson AM MP
Minister for Resources and Energy
Minister for Tourism
Louise Asher MLA
Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business
Minister for Tourism and Major Events
A new product-gap audit of the Great Ocean Road, one of Australia’s premiere tourist attractions, has identified eight potential tourism priority infrastructure projects to assist in meeting long term visitor needs.
Potential projects include a Great Ocean Road eco-lodge development at Moonlight Head, improving the Great Ocean Walk and upgrading Avalon Airport to international standard.
The report finds that should the identified projects be successful in attracting investment they could deliver $1.1 billion in short-term economic benefits and over 2,700 jobs during construction to the region. Together, after construction, the projects could deliver nearly 1,900 jobs and $700 million a year in Gross Regional Product.
The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, said the value of this pilot audit methodology can help other tourism regions to invest for greater competitiveness.
“Product-gap audits show how the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy is delivering tangible outcomes for our tourism industry. An industry that contributes $34 billion to Australia’s GCP,” Minister Ferguson said.
“Our competitiveness hinges on investment. New tourism infrastructure, attractions and accommodation will ensure Australia remains a compelling destination but must be based on comprehensive cost-benefit analysis.
“Collaboration is a key factor in identifying and attracting the right sort of investment, particularly from the private sector.
“State and local governments can use these audits to set spending priorities, inform planning and zoning processes, and attract investment in tourism infrastructure.”
The Victorian Minister for Tourism and Major Events, the Hon Louise Asher MLA, said there are big opportunities for investment from the fast-growing China market.
“These audits assess the experiences that visitors are looking for, and which opportunities bring the most revenue and employment compared with their cost,” Minister Asher said.
“Opportunities for the Great Ocean Road include eco-tourism such as walking trails and 5-star wilderness lodges, as well as improved visitor information.”
The Australian Regional Tourism Network will develop a toolkit for regions to undertake similar Destination Management Planning work. The toolkit is expected to be available by June 2012.
The report was commissioned under the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy on behalf of the Investment and Regulatory Reform Working Group and in cooperation with Tourism Victoria and the local industry.
The Great Ocean Road World Class Tourism Investment Study, funded by the Tourism Ministers’ Council and local industry, is available at www.ret.gov.au/tourism