Destination Gippsland year in review 2014-15
Growing tourism in Regional Victoria is a competitive and challenging endeavour. Not only are we
completing with other destinations both domestic and international but we are competing to some
extent against all forms of recreation for the leisure time and spending of potential visitors. We
have enjoyed a number of recent successes and it is gratifying that visitor numbers in Gippsland are
up 2.1% for the past 12 months. Destination Gippsland currently has several innovative initiatives
underway or in the pipeline and we are inspired by the shared enthusiasm for Gippsland tourism
that we witness almost daily across our beautiful region.
Marketing campaigns can generate demand for a destination, however it is the mix of people, businesses, the natural and the built environment that provides the experience or ‘supply’ side for the visitor. Throughout 2014/15 Destination Gippsland continued to work on improving both the demand and supply side on behalf of the Gippsland tourism industry.
Our marketing activities included a successful ‘Gippsland Road Trip’ campaign that focused on Melbourne based visitors exploring our towns and key experiences in a series of co-ordinated itineraries.
We continued to promote the region to the business event and conference market at trade shows such as Australian Incentives and Meetings Expo. Our international visitation grew by 9.3% as we continued to support Sydney Melbourne Touring, attend the Australian Tourism Exchange, and host many inbound travel trade buyers and media. We also increased our resources and achieved greater coverage on social media and via traditional public relations.
On the supply side we were very pleased with the results of our Creating Smart Connections digital mentoring project. Over the past 18 months we have seen the number of businesses with online booking systems jump from 38% to 58%. We continued to focus on providing professional development in online marketing and booking systems to our industry via the Tourism Tribe training service. We also completed the first year of the Ken Hore Tourism Mentoring Program, supported two Victorian Tourism Award winners, and in September 2014 conducted our 6th and biggest Gippsland Tourism Conference hosted in Wellington.
During the year our Board maintained a strong financial position and developed our next Strategic Plan. In this plan we seek to build on the successes of the past, and we set new targets and priorities for the next three years. We have reset our vision to “Gippsland’s natural beauty and authentic experiences inspire the world to visit”. Our challenge is to work with all of our tourism partners and effectively use available resources to collectively achieve that vision.
On behalf of the team at Destination Gippsland we would like to thank the Gippsland Local Government Network and Tourism Victoria for their ongoing support. By investing in their Regional Tourism Board they are investing in the Gippsland Visitor Economy, and in jobs for the region. We look forward to working with all stakeholders across the Gippsland tourism sector to continue to develop the benefits of tourism to our broader community.
Chairman, Destination Gippsland
CEO, Destination Gippsland