Tourism stats indicate South Gippsland Shire is missing out.
Listed below is the tourism data published by Austrade for the 2018-2019 period which covers South Gippsland Shire.
The Austrade data lists its data under Phillip Island (Bass Coast Shire), Lakes (East Gippsland Shire) and Gippsland (which includes Baw Baw Shire, South Gippsland Shire, Latrobe City and Wellington Shire).
Considering the population of our region, the data clearly shows that the Gippsland region is not performing as well as the other two areas.
[The data is in the following order: Tourism Gross Regional Product (GRP), region population, total tourism employment (1000s), and per capita tourism GRP.
Phillip Island: $529.1m, 36.2k, 6k, and $14,616/person.
Lakes: $316.3m, 47.4k, 4k, and $6673/person.
Gippsland: $621.8m, 203.3k, 7k, and $3058/person.
If we consider the substantial coastline and Wilsons Promontory that are in the Gippsland region, it could be considered that we have some great tourism attractions which are a match to those of our neighbours. The question is then why we are not reaping the rewards?
Is it because much of our coastal attractions are impacted by government department controls (Parks Vic on Wilsons Prom and Corner Inlet) or is it that we have administrative roadblocks at council level preventing progress on tourism ventures? How can we stimulate the development of tourist attractions and activities?
We can see there is great demand for housing around Inverloch and Cape Paterson. Surely it is possible, with the right promotion by South Gippsland Council, we can achieve a similar outcome.
We have many tourist opportunities we can develop. A marina at Port Welshpool, a major resort at Yanakie, a path from Foster to the Prom, a caravan park at Waratah Bay, boating excursions from Port Welshpool to Snake Island and the Prom (using a “sea-legs” boat), underwater discovery centre at the Long Jetty or assistance to create accommodation along the Great Southern Rail Trail. There is no shortage of opportunities.
Around half of the Melbourne’s population, that is around two million people, live within two hours of many of Gippsland’s tourist attractions. If we were to just double our per capita tourism GRP we would only need to harvest around $300/head from the Melbourne population within two hours of our region. We call on the South Gippsland Shire administrators to remove the blockages and create a “can-do” office which helps the region to grow its tourist resources.
Lindsay Love, secretary, South Gippsland Action Group.