Council celebrates tourism’s contribution

The Colac Otway Shire Council and Otways Tourism hosted Tourism Week in September this year, acknowledging the sector’s significant contribution to the community and economy of the region.

A series of events were held, including a morning tea welcome for Otway Tourism members, an open house at the Colac Visitor Information Centre, an e-Marketing master class, and a workshop on the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse.

The week culminated with a forum at the Great Ocean Road Hotel in Apollo Bay that was focused on tourism in the online and mobile environment, including a ‘business speed dating’ session.

Shire Council Tourism Development Officer, Adrian Healey, said that the Tourism Week events were about encouraging Otways Tourism members to “Develop industry skills, network and to explore everything the local region has to offer”.

In Colac Otway Shire, about 640 people —7.3 percent of the working population — are supported by the tourism industry and its annual economic output to the Shire is approximately $104.7 million.

“For every dollar spent in the tourism sector there is a flow on of 65 cents to the broader local economy,” said Mr Healey.

“Indirectly, tourism visitation contributes to business development and the economic growth of a range of other industries, including agriculture, forestry, fishing, construction, retail, real estate services, manufacturing, electricity and transport.”

Mr Healey said the Great Ocean Road was one of Australia’s leading tourism destinations and the Otways hinterland was also becoming a ‘must see’ for visitors and locals.

“We have a lot to celebrate during Tourism Week, including a picturesque natural environment, world-class food and beverage producers, a diverse range of events, and a range of attractions, accommodation and restaurants that cater for everyone.

“Tourism Week is a time to reflect on the local industry’s achievements and come together so we can learn from each other and build the industry together.”