New plan to help tourism growth continue

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Council has acknowledged a new tourism development plan that will guide the industry’s efforts to grow further over the next three years.

The ‘Greater Geelong and the Bellarine Tourism Development Plan – Final Report 2019-22’ has been developed by consultants Urban Enterprise for local industry body Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine.

It details 44 ‘priority tier one projects’ needed to maximise the local visitor economy, spread across six sub-regions: Urban Geelong, Avalon and the You Yangs, Bellarine South, Bellarine North, Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale, and Golden Plains South.

The report says the Greater Geelong region now attracts more than 5.8 million visitors each year, generating $2.2 billion in economic value and supporting almost 11,300 jobs.

It forecasts that by 2027 visitation will climb to 7.5 million per year, creating the need for an extra 1564 guest rooms.

Accommodation priorities include four- and five-star hotels in Geelong to support major events and the planned Conference Convention Centre, and commercial guestrooms on both the north and south Bellarine.

It’s expected an increase in these types of accommodation would help generate more overnight stays, with 3.5 million of the 5.8 million visitors in the past year (60 per cent) making day trips.

The report also identifies Avalon Airport’s recent expansion to international status as a major opportunity to attract more guests from overseas, with 99 per cent of visitors currently coming from within Victoria.

Building on Geelong’s international student market is seen as a key target, given the significant economic impact generated by students and their visiting family members.

Transport infrastructure improvements such as Melbourne-Geelong fast rail and a rail link to Avalon are also identified as having the potential to grow visitation, while on the Bellarine there is a need for ‘continued diversification of product’, including investment in nature-based tourism experiences, food and wine.

Greater Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood

Tourism has been identified as one of the five sectors that can secure Greater Geelong’s financial future. Our natural environment makes our region a great place to visit and get that experience.

This report identifies some outstanding opportunities to build on our already strong visitation.

Council will continue to advocate very strongly to state and federal governments for the investment we need in tourism infrastructure, while supporting Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine to deliver the priorities set out in this plan.


Greater Geelong Councillor Peter Murrihy, Board Member, Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine

Our tourism industry body, Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine, has a long track record of success and continues to perform strongly. It’s considered an example of industry best practice. This plan will help guide the organisation’s efforts to grow our visitor economy further over the coming years.

We also take this opportunity to pay tribute to outgoing Executive Director Roger Grant and congratulate him on an outstanding 26 years of service. His contribution has been immense and he deserves a large share of the credit for the incredible growth of tourism in our region. We wish him well when he leaves the role at the end of June.

Page last updated: Thursday, 16 May 2019