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March 2019

CEO Message

At the beginning of March we reflect on what has been a very busy tourist season, with feedback from industry indicating strong visitation to almost all parts of the region.

However, the hot summer has brought extremely challenging conditions for Gippsland, the natural environment is very dry and this has led to multiple fires.

We thank all of the Emergency Services agencies and their personnel for their incredible work as they continue to protect our communities in trying conditions, and our thoughts are with those affected by the fires.

Terry Robinson

Fires in Gippsland

With the recent escalation of the fires and mainstream media coverage Destination Gippsland has activated its Regional Tourism Response and Recovery Plan.  This process will provide co-ordination and assist Local Councils, industry and government agencies to manage the tourism impacts of the fires across Gippsland.  This role includes:

• Consumer and industry communications
• Media liaison (State and National)
• Government and emergency services liaison (Gippsland and State level)
• Monitoring regional economic impacts and longer term tourism response efforts

Information for our visitors  – it is important that we help our communities and visitors feel well informed. We encourage our industry colleagues and Visitor Information Centre’s to proactively manage forward bookings, especially for the March Long Weekend. We recommend responding to any visitor queries by clarifying your location in relation to the fire activity.  You may wish to consider calling or emailing any forward bookings with this information by way of reassurance.  It is critical visitors feel well-informed and that you can direct them towards sources of accurate, up-to-date information in order to make their own, informed travel decisions. 

Social Media sharing – it is recommended  that we do not share snapshot alerts from Vic Emergency, but send our visitors to the website or app directly. Facebook algorithms often show these posts very late or not at all causing incorrect or out of date information to be shared.  We suggest any posts should focus on official information sources and convey that our emergency services are highly experienced. Keep messages informative and try to avoid emotive language (e.g. “scary”, “I wonder what’s happening out there?”, etc.) and images of fire that may be misconstrued.  We will also continue to talk about what visitors can do (which is the majority of Gippsland that is not directly impacted by fires).

Emergency contact details - it is important that we refer to the most reliable information sources when communicating with our industry and visitors. To stay informed please go to:
• Vic Emergency Hotline – freecall 1800 226 226
• Vic Emergency app
• Facebook or Twitter (#vicfire)
• Local radio ABC 100.7fm (Latrobe Valley) or 828 am (Sale)
• Parks Victoria - www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
• Vic Roads - www.trafficvicroads.vic.gov.au
• Public Transport - https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au/

Understanding the legal obligations - All businesses should have a cancellation policy and be familiar with their legal obligations.  For those not familiar Consumer Affairs Victoria have developed resources to assist businesses developing a cancellation policy and understanding the legal obligations. https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/products-and-services/business-practices/contracts/guidance-for-tourism-businesses.

Invitations are open to register for the Gippsland Tourism Forum

You are invited to join us in Maffra at Duart Homestead on Tuesday 26 March for our first Gippsland Tourism Forum for 2019.  Participate in the following; 

  • 'Boost your business' with an online listing workshop at 11.00am (open to operators)
  • A networking lunch and tour of Duart Homestead
  • A variety of forum presentations
  • Networking drinks and nibbles at Mewburn Park at the end of the day

Learn about the latest in digital trends, hear how you can become involved in the new Brand for Gippsland, listen and learn from local case study success stories and understand the big picture with Tourism Australia.

Improve your social media skills with our 'Insta Class' or just take the time out of your business to network and catch up with others in the Tourism Industry inside and outside the region.

To  view the program and register please see here.  For further information please contact Janine Hayes at jhayes@destinationgippsland.com.au

'Boost your Business' List online - ATDW workshop at Gippsland Tourism Forum

Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) listings are an essential marketing tool for tourism businesses and events that will:

  • Give your business a presence on major tourism websites
  • Boost Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of your own website,
  • Will drive traffic through the new Destination Gippsland website to your website,
  • Provide a major benefit, as ATDW listings appear on  travel sites around Australia 

To register for a new listing or learn how to improve your current listing you are invited to attend a FREE workshop at 11.00am prior to the commencement of the Gippsland Tourism Forum on Tuesday 26 March 2019.

To register please see here.  



For further information contact Janine Hayes jhayes@destinationgippsland.com.au 

Gippsland will be hosting two World's Longest Lunches

Gippsland will be hosting two magnificent Regional World's Longest Lunches.  Each event held on Friday 15 March will be celebrating the best of food and wine produced in Gippsland.

Whether it's the rolling green hills at Lardner Park or spectacular ocean views from the RACV Inverloch Resort these are two fabulous events for the region.

For details see the Lardner Park event here. For details see the RACV Inverloch event here.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival features Jindivick Village Feast

The Jindivick Village Feast will be showcasing and representing Gippsland as a part of the upcoming Melbourne Food and Wine Festival on Saturday 16 March 2019.

The headline event with chefs Matt Moran and Alejandro Saravia are partnering with local Jindivick and Gippsland producers and businesses to showcase delicious food at multiple pop-up food and drinks stalls.

This is a one off event and the first of its kind to be hosted by the Festival.  For further details please see here.

Following the Jindivick Village Feast there will be a wide range of experiences offered on Sunday 17 March designed to complement the event and give visitors the opportunity to extend their stay and hone their skills in anything from bee-keeping to fly-fishing, salami-making to sourdough bread-baking. Please see here.

Regional Events Fund Open

The seventh round of the Regional Events Fund is now open and accepting expressions of interest. Are you wanting to enhance your event in regional Victoria and require additional support? To be considered for support event organisers need to make a formal submission addressing economic, strategic, marketing and community impacts of the event.

At Visit Victoria plays a lead role in developing events aligned to regional attributes that drive visitation, with over 180 events supported to date. Expressions of interest close on Friday 15 March. Please review the funding criteria in detail to ensure your eligible to apply.  To read more see here.

Growing Wine Tourism

Growing Wine Tourism is a practical, wine-specific skills development program for wine businesses looking to develop their wine tourism products and services for the inbound tourism market.
Wine Australia has partnered with the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) to deliver the program in conjunction with Fastrak Asian Solutions and Wine Tourism Australia, as part of the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package.
The program comprises three modules which are being delivered throughout 2018–19.  To read more see here.

Omeo Mountain Bike Masterplan & Business Case

East Gippsland Shire Council in partnership with Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Parks Victoria (PV) are progressing a project to create Omeo into a Mountain Biking destination.

Two aspects of that project for tender are:

- The Omeo MTB Masterplan; and
- The Omeo MTB Business Case.

For further information on both projects please see here. 

Regional road improvements across Gippsland

Vic Roads is improving a number of roads across Gippsland in the coming weeks including the Princes Highway east from Lakes Entrance to the border and the Great Alpine Road. To keep yourself and your visitors updated please see here.  You can also phone 133 778.

Let the world know about your Gippsland event

A wide range of wonderful festivals and gatherings have been held across the breadth of Gippsland during this year. 

The coming months are no exception with food, wine, music and sporting events on the horizon.  Ensure you have your event listed with the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse. (ATDW) For information on how to list, please see here.

(Image: Beyond the Valley Music Festival courtesy of Lardner Park). 

The Thorpdale Potato Festival, the Regional World's Longest Lunch and The Village Feast at Jindivick are a few of the upcoming events.  To check out future events see here.

Victorian Tourism Industry Council Events

The Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) hosts a range of events throughout the year to benefit Tourism operators. 

An upcoming event on the 20 March 2019 will be their online webinar 'Skill's of the Visitor Economy.'  To register please see here. 

Check in with our Social Media

Check into Social Media by tagging us in your posts.  To share using Gippsland Hashtags read more HERE.  To see what is trending in the social media world see HERE.

Build your business with assistance from your Local Council

Visit Destination Gippsland for a list of industry links to local and regional tourism associations and local government.  Industry Links.

Tourism in Gippsland = 12,400 Jobs

The Gippsland Visitor Economy generates an estimated $1.2b in Gross Regional Product (11% of the total Gippsland economy). It supports 12,400 jobs (12% of all Gippsland employment) in over 3,000 businesses across every community in Gippsland. Tourism in Gippsland is everyone’s business.

Destination Gippsland Team

Find out more about our Board of Directors here

Contact our team here