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$1.6 million backing for Great Ocean Road and Geelong tourism attractions

$1.6 million backing for Great Ocean Road and Geelong tourism attractions
July 27, 2017

A new chocolate café, a winery and a wild life sanctuary are among four Great Ocean Road and Geelong projects that will share $1.64 million in funding from the Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure (TDDI) program.

Matching funding provided by the grant recipients will increase the overall investment to $3.8 million.

The Platypi Chocolate project will receive $300,000 to construct a new chocolate café in Forrest. The facility will include a licensed café, retail outlet and a chocolate production area.

Private investment of over $700,000 will bring the total project investment to more than $1 million.

The Wildlife Wonders project by the Cape Otway Conservation Ecology Centre will receive $557,962 to undertake planning, design and the development of a business case for a new Australian wildlife ecotourism experience on a spectacular 20 hectare property west of Apollo Bay. The project proponent will provide matching funding.

Located along the Great Ocean Road, the proposed facility will house Australian wildlife in a natural setting and be designed to educate visitors and support conservation efforts for Australian wildlife. Should the business case for the facility be positive, additional private investment of $6.4 million will bring the total project investment to over $7.4 million.

The Provenance Cellar Door project will receive $332,000 for the construction of a working winery and cellar door at the Fyansford Paper Mill. The project is part of the redevelopment of Barwon Paper Mills and will complement the existing tourism offering in the area. Private investment of $465,000 will bring the total project investment to $797,000.

The Wye Beach Hotel project will receive $450,000 to expand the existing hotel and enable weddings, conferences and other events. Private investment of $450,000 will bring the total investment to $900,000.

Announcing the funding, Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo said the projects will provide visitors to the region with a range of exciting and interesting experiences.

Senator Ciobo stated “tourism is a vital industry for Australia and especially in the regions, where 45 cents of every tourist dollar is spent.

“These projects will add to the depth and variety of tourism offerings available to visitors to these iconic regions.”

Victorian Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren said the funding will breathe new life and bring more business to the region, adding “many regions rely on the money and time tourists spend in their communities, which is why we’re working to attract even more visitors by supporting local businesses and creating jobs.

“Tourists bring serious business to our region - and these new attractions will provide a greater range of tourism experiences and world-class facilities.”

In the year ending March 2017, international visitation to the Great Ocean Road tourism region increased by 16% on the previous year, attracting 218,000 visitors who spent $103 million, an increase of 29% on the previous year.

In the same period domestic overnight visitation in the Geelong and Bellarine tourism region also increased, attracting 1.3 million visitors who spent $512 million.

With buildings designed by The Hobbit art director Brian Massey, Wildlife Wonders Chief Executive Lizzie Corke explains “it will be a fabulous experience walking through a protected habitat area with a qualified conservationist guide to see the wildlife of the Otways.

"Very clever use of technology and landscaping will create an experience which is incredibly memorable and very meaningful.”

No funding was allocated to the Great Ocean Road Adventure Park, a longstanding project to build an outdoor recreation complex featuring ropes course and zip lines, on a 32-hectare site in Bellbrae.

Plans for the ‘adrenaline-junkie’ facility had suggested it would attract 100,000 visitors a year.

The Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure program is investing $43.1 million over four years, including $7.2 million in Victoria, to drive demand, improve quality and increase tourism expenditure to assist the tourism industry in meeting Tourism 2020 targets.

The Federal and Victorian Governments have also $100 million to upgrade the 243-kilometre Great Ocean Road tourist drive. 

Image: Conservation Ecology Centre Chief Lizzie Corke with Colac Otway Shire Chief Executive Sue Wilkinson and Mayor Chris Potter  and a model of the proposed Wildlife Wonders attraction.

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However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

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