Phillip Island,

Tick For Island Tourism Strategy

Development for a 20 year tourism strategy for Phillip Island will begin after it received the go ahead from Bass Coast Shire Council at the May meeting.

Council adopted the Project Plan and Governance Structure and endorsed the Consultant Brief for the Phillip Island Tourism Strategy 2035 Project.

Council has received a $150,000 grant from Regional Development Victoria’s (RDV) Putting Locals First program, along with its $50,000 contribution to fund the project.

Mayor, Cr Kimberley Brown, said there had already been a significant amount of work done regarding tourism on Phillip Island.

“This project will review and build on this work, establishing a long term vision that can be implemented in partnership with key stakeholders,” Cr Brown said.

“Feedback provided by Regional Development Victoria, as the funding body, has also been incorporated into the Draft Consultant Brief.”

Cr Brown said the Strategy would provide a framework for future development across a range of sectors such as accommodation, retail, attractions, transport and environmental education.

“This project will develop a 20 year strategy that establishes a vision that recognises the region’s significance as a key international and domestic tourist destination based on its unique natural environment,” Cr Brown said.

“Given the competitive nature of attracting investment and funding, a key to the future success of the region is to identify areas for infrastructure development.

“We can also ensure there are opportunities to attract high end investment for tourism experiences that complement our region and fill gaps in our current market.

“Seasonality is a key challenge for local businesses to maintain their workforce and grow their business and investments in the region.

“The Strategy will identify opportunities to create a vibrant, year-round destination for events, tourism and business, and also encourage existing and new businesses to contribute.

Cr Brown said the Strategy was identified through the Gippsland Regional Growth Plan.

“Phillip Island is the second most dependant tourism region in Australia and the most dependant in Victoria, with tourism contributing approximately $653 million to the local economy and over 5,700 jobs,” Cr Brown said.

“Our world famous natural assets, including the Penguin Parade and world class event program, are of State importance, which means planning for the future is key.”

Council will engage with a consultant to prepare the Strategy, which will be developed with key stakeholders, including Destination Phillip Island, Phillip Island Nature Parks, RDV, Phillip Island Tourism and Business Association, San Remo District Traders Association,Tourism Victoria and the community.

“It will be designed to strengthen the Phillip Island and San Remo economy through sustainable tourism in a targeted and structured way,” Cr Brown said.

Completion date for the project is June 2016.