International students spark Geelong tourism


The state government is helping Geelong’s visitor economy grow by supporting a plan to increase the number of people travelling to the region to visit international students.

Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes today (18 Jan 2019) announced the government would provide $50,000 from the Stronger Regional Communities Plan to Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine to develop the first Geelong-specific marketing and travel packages for people visiting the region’s international students.

Capitalising on the Air Asia flights to Avalon that commenced in late 2018, the project will be delivered in partnership with Study Geelong and will use insights from Geelong’s international students on what will attract their family and friends to visit the area.

The project will create tailored campaigns for key international markets and develop country-specific itineraries to encourage people from across Asia to visit Geelong and the south-west.

With more than 3400 international students enrolled in the Geelong area, the international student market is growing export sector for Geelong, rising by 20 per cent in 2016-17 alone.

The international student market is Victoria’s largest services export industry, worth almost $10 billion - with the visiting friends and relatives market providing a further boost to Victorian tourism.

The government’s Stronger Regional Communities Plan invests in community-led projects to make regional Victoria a better place to live and work and help them grow their economies.

“Avalon Airport is a gateway for travellers from Asia so it makes sense we are encouraging people to visit international students in the region to boost the local economies and cement Geelong, the Bellarine and the Great Ocean Road as must-see destinations in Victoria,” Minister Symes said.

Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine executive director Roger Grant said international education is an important part of the Geelong region’s visitor economy.

"With [funds] from the Victorian Government, we will promote the increased accessibility to the region through Air Asia and all that Geelong has to offer, to the friends and families of international students studying here.”

Source: A state government media release