Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Victorian tourism industry unites in aim to drive reopening of visitor economy

Victorian tourism industry unites in aim to drive reopening of visitor economy
October 23, 2020

Leading representatives of Victoria’s tourism industry have launched a proposal to reopen the state’s visitor economy using safe and staged processes similar to those adopted in other states.

Industry leaders have undertaken a detailed review of gradual reopenings underway in NSW, South Australia and Queensland, and have put forward an alternative roadmap for Victoria to allow business to resume operations under strict safety controls.

Within the industry’s proposed framework indoor dining would be permitted at the next easing of restrictions with a cap of 20 people seated indoors per space, with up to two spaces per venue (for a maximum of 40 customers), under the one person per 4 metre² rule.

If case numbers and type remain controlled, the next goal would be to move to one person per 2 metre², and then to ultimately remove caps. Cleaning, signage and record keeping requirements would consistently apply. Large scale venues seating 100-plus would be able to negotiate reasonable caps within density quotient requirements.

Business events would operate with up to 50 people from 30th October, including venue staff, hosts and delegates, subject to the one person per 4 metre² rule, and subject to the business registering as COVID Safe and having an approved COVID Safe Plan.

If case numbers and type remain controlled, the goal would be to increase the cap to 100 by 1st December and move to one person per 2 metre² rule on 1st January next year.

Open-air attractions and outdoor venues would operate subject to the one person per 4 metre² rule within the expanse of their total footprint and subject to the business registering as COVID Safe and having an approved COVIDSafe Plan.

As in other states, a family bubble would count as one within the patron cap limitations (one per 4 metre²). This would allow operations like helicopters, hot air balloons and commercial tour vehicles to operate and make outdoor adventure boat trips viable.

The industry groups said it was clear the sate could not reach the benchmarks the Victorian Government had set in its roadmap and it was time for a new approach.

Announcing the push to reopen the sector, Victoria Tourism Industry Council Chief Executive, Felicia Mariani stated “the Victorian tourism industry has been bleeding jobs and revenue since the 2019 bushfires. Some Victorian businesses had a chance to reopen after the first lockdown, but this time around we were told no, and we understood that when case numbers were sky high.

“However, it has been incredibly hard for us to see NSW accommodation, business events, attractions and dining opening when they have similar daily case numbers to those we are seeing now in Victoria.

“NSW had more new cases than Victoria multiple times this week, but they proceeded with plans to double the number of people allowed in outdoor venues and increased the number of people allowed at outdoor concerts to 500.

“It’s time for the Victorian Government to change gear and focus on measures that will ensure safety while businesses operate because extending the shutdown cannot be a permanent solution to COVID-19.”

Kate Smith, Chair of Meetings and Events Australia, said business events already kept detailed registration information on every delegate that could be used for contract tracing, with technology solutions such as apps and wearables available to track contacts and ensure people stay 1.5 metres apart.

Smith advised “the sector, which once employed almost 85,000 people, including 3000 in the regions, is looking at 12 months of close to zero revenue.

“Given current restrictions, Victoria is not able to operate virtual events from broadcast studios. Business event organisers have cancelled, moved to virtual or have postponed 62% of their business in the first quarter of 2021 and 57% for the first half of 2021.

“Some business events have been lost to other states. Business events by their very nature take time to plan and implement. Once permission is given, there will be a lag time of up to 12 months to bring some of the large high economic yield events to market.”

Images: Gold Rush Ballooning (top) and VTIC Chief Executive Felicia Mariani (below).

Related Articles

19th October 2020 - ATEC expands its program supporting Australian tourism exporters to attract domestic visitors

19th October 2020 - Victorian Government announces unwinding of Melbourne’s Coronavirus restrictions but with no easing for gyms

9th October 2020 - Victorian Aquatic Industry Alliance wants to see children back in the pool

8th October 2020 - Plans approved for $350 million sport, health and wellness tourism destination on Victoria’s Surf Coast

7th October 2020 - Victorian Government delivers $7.85 million to support arts and cultural organisations

7th October 2020 - ATEC welcomes Federal Budget support for tourism industry

2nd October 2020 - Victorian Government undertakes to restore bushfire devastated forests

28th September 2020 - No change to fitness centre restrictions as Victorian Government eases lockdown measures

28th September 2020 - Regional Victoria secures leading amateur road cycling event for 2025

27th September 2020 - Australian Chamber Tourism welcomes regional funding but highlights cities also need support  

22nd September 2020 - Falls Creek Resort and Alpine National Park reopen to visitors from regional Victoria

21st September 2020 - Parks Victoria passes 25 year landmark in protecting the Grampians

20th September 2020 - Live music venues to benefit industry from $13 million Victorian Government support package

16th September 2020 - Grampians Tourism encourages local tourism following ease of lockdown restrictions

15th September 2020 - Easing of Coronavirus restrictions in regional Victoria to allow resumption of outdoor activities and dining

4th September 2020 - WTTC launches Safe Travels protocols for adventure tourism

7th August 2020 - Federal Government adds $15 billion to JobKeeper scheme to aid Victorian businesses

13th May 2020 - VTIC highlights need for coordinated response to COVID-19 recovery

27th April 2020 - VTIC welcomes new emergency funding for tourism industry        

30th March 2020 - VTIC calls for immediate hibernation and wage subsidy packages

20th February 2020 - New marketing campaign aims to boost Victorian tourism

4th January 2020 - VTIC provides advice for businesses impacted by the bushfires

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

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.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Otium Planning Group

Otium Planning Group is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy providing services in planning, facility development, management and funding for the sport, recreation and leisure industries…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues



BODY BIKE® International is a leading manufacturer of indoor bikes with a 20-year track record of creating the best indoor bikes. Stay connected with Body Bike Australia…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness



About Priava's Technology -  Priava is a cloud-based and centralised venue and event management system aimed at venues of all sizes. With its familiar and easy-to-use web interface, the…

read more

Attractions / Billing / Entertainment / Events / Technology


BH Fitness

BH Fitness, part of the long-standing and iconic bike manufacturer BH Group, is a global leader in fitness equipment for both Commercial and Home markets. The company, with the headquarters based in…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness



Gladstone Health & Leisure (Gladstone MRM Pty Ltd Australia) is a leading supplier of leisure management and fitness software and is endorsed by leading health and fitness professionals and…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Venues



At easyemployer we've come up with a software solution that manages one of your most important, and often most costly, business resources - your staff. We are helping 100s of clients to…

read more

Finance / Fitness / Technology



Developed in Europe, this innovative system offers a safety management solution for swimming pools that checks individual swimmers via their wristband - monitoring their depth and time. Sensors…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Safety / Technology / Waterparks


Aflex Inflatables

Aflex Inflatables are the leaders for obstacle courses, pool toys, waterparks and land-based watersides and fitness runs. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business