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Tourist love us

 

Natural attraction: international visitors love Wilsons Promontory National Park. Photo: Parks Victoria.

SOUTH Gippsland is fast becoming the destination of choice for international visitors to Australia.

The region is gaining popularity with Asian tourists, and along with the iconic attractions of Wilsons Promontory National Park and Phillip Island, Korumburra’s own Coal Creek Community Park and Museum is a major drawcard for foreign tourists.

Figures from Destination Gippsland show that between July and September this year, 26,000 international visitors stayed overnight in South Gippsland Shire, and 6000 in Wonthaggi and Inverloch.

Visitors to South Gippsland Shire are coming from Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, as well as Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and the United States of America.

In Bass Coast, the United Kingdom tops the rates of overnight visitors at 15.4 percent, followed by China on 12.8 percent and Singapore on 12.2 percent. As for guests who make day trips to Bass Coast, China accounts for 23 percent, followed by the United Kingdom on 9.5 percent and Malaysia on 7.3 percent.

The region’s tourism operators are now enjoying the busy summer holidays, welcoming visitors from around the world and the country.

South Gippsland Shire Council’s manager economic development and tourism Renae Littlejohn said, “Coal Creek is ‘must see’ in Victoria in the Lonely Planet publication.”

International visitors adored Coal Creek’s major events of Halloween, Heritage Craft Day and the Literary Festival.

To cater for the growing number of international clients, Coal Creek staff are developing multi-lingual maps of the park.

Ms Littlejohn said Coal Creek is an accredited museum and member of Museums Australia, and so can host internationally recognised exhibitions, such as the Anne Frank exhibition.

Other regional attractions such as the Penguin Parade at Phillip Island, Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, the Whale Trail and Wilsons Promontory remain major drawcards for international tourists.

On average, South Gippsland receives one million visitors per year, with most from Victoria and interstate visitors from New South Wales, Queensland and from Western Australia.

Farm stays are popular among visitors from Singapore and Malaysia, said Bass Coast Shire Council’s manager economic development Peter Francis.

The coast is marketed at Australian Tourism Exchange meetings with overseas wholesalers, and press and industry representatives as part of their international marketing programs.

Bass Coast is also included in the Sydney to Melbourne touring route marketed overseas.

To satisfy demand for international tourism, council has added Google Translator to its Visit Bass Coast website, and some signs and brochures are printed in multiple languages.

A Phillip Island Nature Parks representative is also based in China.

“Along with Destination Phillip Island and Destination Gippsland, we are always looking for ways we can improve and grow the ways we promote to and engage with international tourists,” Mr Francis said.

“We have some visitor information staff who speak multiple languages, and all staff are trained and supported to provide the best customer experience to our visitors.”

Bass Coast Shire Council is currently in the throes of developing a business case for a car ferry, which will benefit Phillip Island and the Mornington Peninsula.

Should the ferry go ahead, council is anticipating further tourism growth, with the possibility of creating a new iconic touring route connecting the Great Ocean Road, Mornington Peninsula, Phillip Island and Gippsland.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=23572

Posted by on Dec 28 2017. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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