New plan to help tourism growth continue


A new tourism development plan will guide the industry’s efforts to further grow tourism in Greater Geelong and the Bellarine over the next three years.

The ‘Greater Geelong and the Bellarine Tourism Development Plan Report 2019-22’ identifies 44 ‘priority tier one projects’ needed to maximise the local visitor economy.

The report says the Greater Geelong region now attracts more than 5.8 million visitors each year, generating $2.2 billion in economic value and supporting almost 11,300 jobs.

It forecasts that by 2027 visitation will climb to 7.5 million per year, creating the need for an extra 1,564 guest rooms.

This report identifies some outstanding opportunities that build on our region's already strong visitation, many of them G21 Priority Projects and Pillar Projects.

Accommodation priorities include four- and five-star hotels in Geelong to support major events and the planned Conference Convention Centre, and commercial guestrooms on both the north and south Bellarine.

It’s expected an increase in these types of accommodation would help generate more overnight stays, with 3.5 million of the 5.8 million visitors in the past year (60 per cent) making day trips.

The report also identifies Avalon Airport’s recent expansion to international status as a major opportunity to attract more guests from overseas, with 99 per cent of visitors currently coming from within Victoria.

Building on Geelong’s international student market is seen as a key target, given the significant economic impact generated by students and their visiting family members.

Transport infrastructure improvements such as Melbourne-Geelong fast rail and a rail link to Avalon are also identified as having the potential to grow visitation, while on the Bellarine there is a need for ‘continued diversification of product’, including investment in nature-based tourism experiences, food and wine.