promlighthouseA LONG hot summer and strategic marketing helped South Gippsland Shire Council record an 11 per cent increase in visitors to its Prom Country Visitor Information Centres (VIC) at Korumburra and Foster. VIC staff assisted 20,508 people with visitor information and accommodation bookings from Christmas Day until the end of April. Local tourism operators are happy with the figures too, experiencing high occupancy rates over the period. “What a great season it’s been!” said Chris Freeman, owner of Eagles Outlook Bed and Breakfast near Foster. “We’ve had fabulous weather and no major floods or fires to dampen our visitors’ expectations.” Meeniyan Motel owner Lorraine Hughes was also smiling. “This was the best summer season for nine years,” she said. “Meeniyan has a positive vibe these days with the small business precinct offering enough diversity to encourage visitors travelling through the area to stop and explore the fascinating mix of boutique shops and eateries, and stock up for their visit to the Prom at the same time.” Tourism development officer Danielle Todaro reminds locals that VIC Officers can help with planning your own holidays or finding accommodation for your family and friends when they come for family weddings and parties etc. “Ask us about the interesting things to see and do in the area too,” she said with a smile. “Sometimes the most delightful events and attractions are right under your nose!” The Korumburra VIC is situated in the foyer of Coal Creek Community Park and Museum and the Foster VIC is situated at the Stockyard Gallery Complex. Both are open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm. A smaller VIC is also operational with reduced hours from the Leongatha Memorial Hall Complex. For further information, contact Prom Country Visitor Information Centres on 1800 630 704, or go to www.visitpromcountry.com.au which details accommodation, attractions and upcoming events.