‘A record year for Gippsland Tourism’

6.1 million visitors to Gippsland
*an $87 million boost to region’s economy

Record visitor numbers and the appointment of two new Directors to the Board were the highlights of Destination Gippsland’s Annual General Meeting held in Wonthaggi on Thursday.

Neil Travers owner of Fish Creek’s Waratah Hills Winery and Nick Murray, former CEO of Gippsland Ports, were both appointed to the Board by the member councils of the Gippsland Local Government Network. Ms Sue Smethurst was unanimously re-elected Chairman.

“It’s an honour to have been re-elected for another year,” Ms Smethurst said, “and I am particularly delighted to welcome Neil and Nick to the Destination Gippsland Board. Their professional experience, strong networks and passion for Gippsland will be an asset to growing our visitor economy. Neil’s expertise will be invaluable as we continue to develop our award-winning food and wine sector, as will Nick’s detailed understanding of key marine, port and waterway resources as we strategically plan the future of the region’s visitor economy.”  Pictured below the new board.

Back L-R: Cam Johns, Richard Longmore, Kylie Johnson, Neil Travers, Nick Murray  Front L-R: Nicola Pero, Sue Smethurst, Damien Gannon

New BoardThey will be joining Destination Gippsland’s elected skills-based Board of Directors; Richard Longmore (Finance and governance), Riviera Nautic owner Cam Johns, Environmental consultant Michelle Dickson, Nicola Pero CEO of Lardner Park, Tinamba Hotel’s Damien Gannon and Paul Ashton CEO of Running Wild events. Leigh Kennedy (Regional Development Victoria), Tim Tamlin (Gippsland Local Government Network), Will McCutcheon (Parks Victoria) and Paul Matthews (Visit Victoria) will continue to contribute as Board Observers.

“This year we welcomed a record 6.1 million visitors to the region, an outstanding figure,” Ms Smethurst said. “This means that more visitors than ever before have enjoyed our stunning beaches and waterways, pristine parks, boutique villages, abundant cycling trails and gourmet paddock to plate experiences. Visitors have contributed an additional $87 million to the region’s billion dollar visitor economy in the past year and we expect that figure to continue growing as record numbers choose to eat, play and stay in Gippsland.”

“In 2019 our focus continues with the delivery of the Gippsland Destination Management Plan, a ten-year blue-print to continue building Gippsland’s visitor economy, and the launch of an exciting new brand campaign to share the story of wonderful, world class Gippsland, far and wide,” Ms Smethurst concluded.

Ms Smethurst thanked Destination Gippsland CEO Terry Robinson and his team for their work cementing Gippsland’s place as a leading destination in regional Australia.

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