The Victorian Government will provide Destination Gippsland and Tourism North East each with a $200,000 grant to pay for a staff member to work directly with tourism operators and to coordinate campaigns, and to help harness e-commerce opportunities to connect with potential visitors.
The announcement was made while Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula met with tourism operators in the Gippsland Lakes region to hear firsthand about the impact of the fires and how the community could help.
“The most practical thing that ordinary Victorians can do right now to help these regions is to travel there and spend money there,” said Pakula.
The Government’s `Business & Sport for Bushfire Recovery’ program is one practical initiative that has won strong backing, with more than 150 organisations taking the pledge to hold conferences and events in regional Victoria.
Visit Victoria has also confirmed it would hold a management team conference over two nights in Lakes Entrance within the next six weeks as part of the program.
“Visit Victoria is proud to have signed up to the Business & Sport for Bushfire Recovery program and we encourage businesses large and small to consider doing the same to help regional communities,” said Visit Victoria chief executive Brendan McClements.
Among other confirmed `Business & Sport for Bushfire Recovery’ plans are The Victorian Trades Hall Council, which will run a 40-person strategy forum over two days at Merrijig in March, and Cricket Australia which will host a number of departmental meetings in both the North East and East Gippsland for two or more nights, for 20 people at a time.