The state of tourism in Victoria revealed

The Victorian Government has released a progress report about how it is tracking in delivering on its objectives for the growth and development of the visitor economy.

The Victorian Visitor Economy Strategy Action Plan Progress Report - July 2018 shows that visitor expenditure has increased to $26.8 billion in the year ending March 2018 and that visitation is at an all time high.

The strategy provides a clear direction across the whole of government to increase visitor spending to $36.5 billion by 2025 and increase employment in the sector to 320,700 jobs.

It outlines nine priority areas to achieve this goal and measures how progress is tracking against each area.

The nine priority areas are:

1. More private sector investment

2. Building on the potential of regional and rural Victoria

3. Maximising the benefits of events

4. Improved branding and marketing

5. Improved experiences for visitors from Asia

6. Better tourism infrastructure

7. Improved access into and around Victoria

8. A skilled and capable sector

9. More effective coordination

Notable achievements highlighted in the report include the following.

Spend from Chinese visitors reached $3.0 billion, an increase of 118.9% since 2014. (International Visitor Survey data for year ending March 2018 published by Tourism Research Australia)

The world exclusive exhibition of Van Gogh and the Seasons at the NGV generated total attendance of over 460,000 and almost $56 million for the Victorian economy, making it the most popular ticketed art exhibition ever presented in Victoria.

The $205 million expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre was officially opened on 8 July 2018. The expansion will bring thousands of visitors to Victoria each year and will add more than 900 new jobs through the addition of nearly 20,000 square metres of flexible, multipurpose events space.

In April 2017 the Victorian Government announced that all night public transport on weekends would be made permanent following a successful trial, and committed $193.2 million over the next four years.

The full report can be read here.