The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) welcomes today’s announcement of $10 million by the State Government to assist bushfire affected businesses across East Gippsland and North East Victoria.
Of the $10 million, $8.5 million released today from a new Bushfire Tourism and Business Fund will be allocated to support a range of committed projects, including:
- $2 million to rebuild visitor infrastructure at Buchan Caves
- $1.9 million in additional funding for the Ride High Country Private Sector Activation Initiative to expand bike tourism in north east Victoria
- $500,000 to improve visitor facilities in the Alpine region through the Dinner Plain Activation Project
- $500,000 for the redevelopment of Colac Colac Caravan Park to support the growth of the Man from Snowy River Bush Festival
- $250,000 towards a new masterplan for Paynesville Foreshore and Boardwalk
VTIC Chief Executive Felicia Mariani commended the Government on this much needed response to what has been a devastating time for regional tourism operators and the state’s visitor economy – and was pleased to see funding aligned with VTIC’s priorities.
“Since the fires started, VTIC has engaged extensively with members and businesses in affected areas to understand how their businesses have been impacted and what assistance would help.
“This extra funding responds to evidence and recommendations we have put forward on measures that will help ease financial and regulation pressure on disaster affected businesses – and boost visitation in the regions.
“VTIC has advocated strongly at both State and Federal levels to support projects such as the Man From Snowy River Bush Festival, that suffered significant damage in the fires.
“In our recently launched 2020-21 State Budget submission, VTIC has asked for $7 million for Parks Victoria to redevelop damaged visitor infrastructure to accommodate reshaping peak visitation periods, which includes Buchan Caves.
“To see industry priorities and key recommendations taken into account via this funding allocation really delivers a sense of hope and direction for a road to recovery,” Ms Mariani said.