Victorian tourism industry comes together to shape its future
More than 900 tourism operators are descending on Melbourne today as part of the biggest business conference in Victoria in more than a year.
The Victorian Tourism Conference, delivered by Visit Victoria in partnership with the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC), is taking place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre over two days (21-22 April) under the theme of ‘Shaping the future of Victorian tourism’.
Speakers include the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula, Brendan McClements (Visit Victoria CEO), Craig Tiley (CEO Tennis Australia), Sam Bloom (author of Heartache & Birdsong) and Lisa MacCallum (former Vice President of NIKE). Phillipa Harrison (MD Tourism Australia), Shane Delia (Chef, Restaurateur and founder of Providoor), Jason Marriner (CEO Marriner Group), and Sarah Hunter (Chief Economist for BIS, Oxford Economics) will also share their insights.
The conference follows a challenging year for the tourism industry with the estimated impact on visitor expenditure in Victoria from COVID-19 and the bushfires for 2020 is $19.5 billion – a 60 per cent decline.
In 2021, the sector is showing positive signs of recovery with the return of crowds and major events such as the Australian Open, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Melbourne Fashion Festival, the Comedy Festival, and theatre productions such as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Visitation levels in regional Victoria is improving evidenced by a bumper Easter long weekend, and the Melbourne Convention Bureau will administer a new funding grant program to attract new national conferences and events to the city.
As part of the conference, Visit Victoria will share key marketing and consumer insights after launching several major campaigns and initiatives during the pandemic, including ‘Click for Vic, ‘Stay close, go further’ and ‘Visit Melbourne’.
For more information on the program, visit the website.
Quotes attributable to Visit Victoria CEO Brendan McClements:
“This is a really exciting time for our tourism, events and hospitality industry to come together – face to face – to share insights from the past year and ideas for the future.”
“There’s no doubt the past year has changed and challenged all of us. This event is about focussing on how we can help the visitor economy to bounce back as quickly as possible.”
“Melbourne is the events capital of Australia so it’s only fitting that we are hosting one of the biggest face-to-face business conferences in the country in more than a year.”