The Tourism & Transport Forum, Australia’s leading tourism and transport advocacy group, has welcomed the Victorian Government’s commitment to growing the State’s booming visitor economy in its 2017-18 Budget.
TTF Chief Executive, Margy Osmond, congratulated Premier Daniel Andrews, Treasurer Tim Pallas and Tourism and Major Events Minister John Eren on the Government’s funding for tourism and transport infrastructure and their recognition of the economic value of investing in the visitor economy.
“Prior to the Victorian Budget, TTF called on the Government to grow the State’s visitor economy by investing in cultural tourism opportunities, prioritising nature-based tourism investment and increasing funding for Visit Victoria,” Ms Osmond said.
“It is very pleasing the Government has heeded this call with solid funding across these areas, including $28.7 million for the National Gallery of Victoria, $54.6 million to support Parks Victoria to unlock the benefits of parks and special natural assets and an additional $24.7 million over two years for Visit Victoria.
“TTF has been calling on the Government to provide funding certainty for Visit Victoria since its inception, and today’s funding commitment is an important step towards ensuring that Visit Victoria has the long-term resources it needs to be competitive with other Australian States when it comes to destination marketing.”
Ms Osmond said the Government’s investment in a more frequent and reliable public transport network recognised the premium international visitors are increasingly placing on travelling to cities and regions with efficient and accessible public transport networks.
“The $879 million in additional metropolitan public transport funding, including $218.1 million for ten more E-Class trams, $193 million over four years to fund all-night public transport, and the $62.5 million for more train, tram and bus services are great news for Victoria’s booming visitor economy,” Ms Osmond said.
“Regional Victoria is also a big winner with $435 million to upgrade the Gippsland Line, which is part of the Government’s Regional Rail Revival Program that aims to grow regional Victoria as a domestic and international tourist destination.
“The Victorian Road Network will also be improved with more than $2 billion in funding to progress missing links such as the Mordialloc Bypass, the M80 Ring Road and the North East Link. Crucial regional road such as the Great Ocean Road will also be improved, supporting the Victorian visitor economy.”