Great Ocean Road tourists staying longer, spending more

Economic Development Pillar

INTERNATIONAL visitors are staying longer and spending more along the Great Ocean Road as Victoria enjoys strong growth in regional tourism.

Latest International Visitor Survey findings, announced by the Victorian Government, showed overnight visitation on the Great Ocean Road up 16 per cent on the previous year.

A total of 2.7 million international visitors spent $7.3 billion in Victoria in the 12 months to March.

Spending by tourists in regional Victoria is up by 28.2 per cent, compared with national average growth of 4.7 per cent.

Multiplying the Great Ocean Road’s visitor economy is among major objectives for G21-Geelong Region Alliance, as part of the road’s priority project status.

More than seven million people visit the road each year, more overseas visitors than the Great Barrier Reef. It supports a $2.1 billion tourism industry but yield from individual visitation is low.

Road maintenance and establishment of much-needed tourism infrastructure are among G21’s priorities.

The International Visitor Survey also revealed the number of nights booked in regional Victoria had grown 20.1 per cent, outshining national average regional growth of 1.7 per cent.

Victorian Tourism Minister and Member for Lara John Eren said the findings endorsed strong government focus on regional tourism.

“Many regions rely on the money and time tourists spend in their communities, which is why we’re working to attract even more visitors by supporting local businesses and creating jobs,” Mr Eren said.

“We really do have the best of everything in Victoria, and these results prove it. It’s great to see more tourists getting a taste of what we have to offer.”

Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges (up 44%), Yarra Valley and the Dandenong Ranges (18.6%), the High Country (14.9%) and the Murray region (13.1%) also registered significant surges in overnight international visits.

Visit Victoria chief executive Peter Bingeman said the findings pointed to important results.

“Every time a visitor stays one more night, enjoys one more dining experience or orders one more cup of coffee that means more jobs and more investment in the visitor economy,” Mr Bingeman said.

“Victorians should be proud of what they offer to local and overseas visitors.”

International visits to Melbourne also increased, with spending up 6.5 per cent to $6.8 billion. Visitors from China continue to international influx, with 570,500 in the past year amounting to an increase of 7.3 per cent.

Source: State Government media release.