Gippsland Hosts International Tour Operators
Gippsland’s tourism strategy to attract more international visitation received a further boost with a visit by seven of the leading International Tour Operators (ITOs) who came to experience first-hand what Gippsland has to offer international visitors.
Destination Gippsland partnered with the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC), South Gippsland and Bass Coast Shires to host the seven agents. This visit is part of an ongoing program of international promotion that includes all areas of Gippsland, the agents on this visit service travel agents from across the globe.
“International Tour Operators (ITO) are business to business destination specialists who collect a wide selection of hotels, tours and experiences for their overseas travel trade partners to sell. They package experiences for overseas travel agents to on-sell to their clients across the world” said Terry Robinson, Destination Gippsland CEO. “By hosting some of these agents in our region, we open up many channels for Gippsland to reach international travel agents and visitors that we couldn’t achieve on our own,” he said.
The seven agents travelled with Great Southern Escapes, stopping in at Meeniyan and Wilsons Promontory. The group sampled the Great Southern Rail Trail with help from Australian Cycling Holidays. They also conducted a number of property inspections including Prom Country Lodge, Limosa Rise and The Church House in South Gippsland, before staying overnight at the RACV Inverloch Resort.
On Sunday, they travelled the Bunurong Coastal Drive and walked the George Bass Coastal Walk before heading to Phillip Island to view the new Visitor Centre at the Phillip Island Nature Parks.
“Familiarising myself with this region has enabled me to better understand and sell the benefits of Gippsland to my clients in North America” said Sue Lassen, Director of Operations from One Pacific, a high-value Destination Management Company who focus on selling Australia to the North American market.
The Gippsland Visitor Economy currently generates over $1.1billion in expenditure annually and employs 10,330 people. Continued visitation growth will see more jobs created across the region.