Bass Coast to attract Chinese
THE BASS Coast will feature in an upcoming State Government initiative to attract Chinese tourists to Victoria.
Minister for Tourism and Major Event, Louise Asher MLA revealed details about the government’s plan during a visit to the area last Thursday.
Following a tour of the State Coal Mine in Wonthaggi, Ms Asher said key tourist attractions such as the coal mine and the Phillip Island Nature Reserve would be included in the Victorian China Tourist Strategy (VCTS).
Chinese tourists currently have the highest expenditure in the state’s tourism sector, contributing over 800 million per annum.
The government however, hopes to increase this figure to over $2 billion with an advertising campaign to be launched in China by Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu this September.
Ms Asher said she was interested in future developments planned for a range of attractions in the region to accommodate the growing industry.
“Tourist attractions in the Bass Coast are incredibly significant to Victoria,” Ms Asher said, adding the Penguin Parade in Phillip Island in particular boasted a special mention in the VCTS.
“The general region saw an increase in tourist numbers in both domestic overnight and international overnight in the past year.”
Bass MLA Ken Smith invited Ms Asher to the region to showcase key tourist attractions.
“I was absolutely delighted to have the minister visit to show her some of the important tourist attractions we have in Bass Coast” he said.
“Obviously the penguins are famous and the Grand Prix track well known along with other attractions throughout the region including Churchill Island, the Koala Park and our beautiful coastline, but we also have more on offer.”
The tour commenced at the State Coal Mine, where the minister met with Parks Victoria manager Braxton Laine, assistant manager Greg Mattingley and members of Friends of the State Coal Mine for an update.
Ms Asher said she was considerably impressed with the updates to the mine, having last visited in 1996.
“It has changed massively since then,” she said.
“Significant funding from the State and Federal governments really brought out the potential of the mine. The history is so interesting, added to the fact it was once an actual, working mine. It’s a real piece of history.”
Wonthaggi Secondary College’s Students Representative Group, consisting of Hannah McKittrick, Georgia Butterfield, Cody Nelson and Nathan Bramley, met the minister and accompanied her on a tour of the mine.
After the coal mine, Mr Smith accompanied Ms Asher to the National Vietnam Veterans Museum, the Phillip Island Nature Park, the Rhyll Trout and Bush Tucker Farm and Panny’s Chocolate Factory.
Mr Smith said the minister completed her tour of Bass Coast with knowledge of the award winning tourist attractions on offer in the Bass Coast.
“We are so fortunate that we have these and many more wonderful businesses which attract tourists to our region,” Mr Smith said.
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