Victoria’s Tourism sector to suffer from Labor’s Financial Mismanagement

14th May 2024

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell today in Parliament raised the substantial cuts being faced by
the tourism sector in Victoria and the risk these pose on the prosperity of future events in the South West
Coast.

These cuts totalling $393 million by the Allan Labor Government have come hot on the heels of more than
30,000 people attending the Warrnambool May Racing Carnival, one of the premier events in the South West
calendar, which brings visitors and tourism to the region, providing a financial boom to the region each May.
“Our regional events bring so much vibrancy and life to our regions and contribute millions to regional
economies, so to cut funding now is not only short sighted” Ms Britnell told the Parliament.

“It threatens to have a major impact on the economic stability of regional towns and events such as the May
Racing Carnival, the Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic, the world renowned Grand Annual Sprint Car
Classic, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Heywood’s Wood Wine and Roses, and the Portland Upwelling Festival and
many more” said Ms Britnell.

Recent visitor survey data from Tourism Research Australia confirmed Victorian international tourism
spending is at 73 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, compared to 96 per cent in New South Wales and 94 per
cent in Queensland. “It’s clear that this government and the Minister for Tourism have no idea how
destination marketing works. If they engaged with anyone in the sector, they would know that major events
are only a small piece of the puzzle for attracting visitors to the State”.

“Investing in events and tourism pays back dividends for our regions – supporting local jobs and economies. It
is concerning to see $393 million cut from the tourism sector in last weeks State Budget” said Ms Britnell.

Cuts to Tourism and events in last week’s budget include:

• A $286 million cut to Tourism and Major Events funding.
• A $17 million cut to the Destination Victoria program.
• A total of $393.9 million cut to the Visitor Economy initiatives, including for industry support, regional
tourism, events and infrastructure.

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