As Melbourne’s “ring of steel” is set to ease on 8 November, Rural Councils Victoria is calling on the state government to redirect a proportion of its multi-million-dollar overseas and interstate tourism marketing spend to encourage Victorians to enjoy rural and regional Victoria.
Rural Councils Victoria Chair Mary-Ann Brown said:
“In 2019 Victorians took 3.1 million overseas trips and spent on average almost $5,000 per trip, which adds up to more than $15 billion.
“The pandemic has seen international travel suspended and border closures have cut off interstate travel, contributing to the crisis hitting the Victorian tourism and hospitality sectors.
“With the ring of steel about to end, it is important that Melbournians are encouraged to enjoy rural and regional Victoria. The marketing budget is already there, it is just a case of reallocating the funding.”
“There is a pent-up demand for even a short break from Melbourne. With no interstate or overseas options, it makes sense that people be encouraged to holiday within Victoria.”
“Other states have created, or are planning, marketing campaigns targeting domestic tourists. Victoria must not be left behind.”
“Encouraging Victorians to discover rural Victoria, will provide people with a much-needed break within Victoria, help secure local jobs and help Victorians discover the many hidden gems of their own state.”
Ms Brown said a marketing campaign should be backed by government investment in new tourism product, such as:
“The window to raise Victorians’ awareness of affordable leisure travel to rural Victoria will be a limited one before other states target the Victorian market,” Ms Brown said.