TOURISM along the Great Ocean Road is booming, with the independent peak body for the sector saying the double-digit growth in economic indicators underscores the need for major investment in hotel rooms, services and infrastructure.
According to the 2016/17 Regional Tourism Satellite Accounts, released recently by the federal government, the Great Ocean Road region generated $871 million in total tourism gross value added ($440 million directly and $431 million indirectly) – up 17.8 per cent on 2015-16.
The Great Ocean Road region generated 11,169 jobs for people employed in the tourism industry (8,296 direct and 2,873 in indirect employment) – up 16.1 per cent.
Total tourism employment represented 17.8 per cent of the regional economy’s employment.
The region generated $994 million in total tourism GRP ($495 million in direct and $498 million in indirect) – up 17.4 per cent.
Total tourism consumption in the Great Ocean Road region was 17.2 per cent higher at more than $1.7 billion. Intrastate overnight visitors ($1.049 billion) were the biggest contributors, followed by day trips ($317 million) and interstate overnight visitors ($206 million).
Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism (GORRT) chair Wayne Kayler-Thomson said the growth in economic indicators demonstrated the importance of tourism to the region and the impact of the outstanding growth in visitor numbers, nights and expenditure over recent years.
“GORRT’s strategies are focussed on growing nights, dispersal and spend from visitors to maximise the economic return and we have been encouraged by the upward trends in recent years.
“To see the economic indicators all showing positive double-digit growth and confirming that the region is Victoria’s highest performing region continues to strengthen the case for continued government and private investment in the region.”
He said the region’s visitor economy was growing far faster than predicted at the start of the decade, with the latest forecasts suggesting visitation increases of up to 50 per cent by 2025.
“Therefore, substantial investment in the maintenance and development of key infrastructure including the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan and the Great Ocean Road as well as attracting private sector investment in much-needed high-standard accommodation, products and experiences, will further secure the economic contribution within the region.
“This will underpin employment and the sustainability of the cities and towns of the region.”