REGION - Grampians Tourism and the Pyrenees Shire are celebrating a four-year partnership that has been responsible for promoting tourism in the region.
Grampians Tourism's strategic direction encompasses responsibilities for industry and product development as well as marketing of the region which takes in the boundaries of the Ararat Rural City Council, Southern Grampians Council, Horsham Rural City Council and Northern Grampians Shire Council as well as Pyrenees Shire Council.
Pyrenees Shire Council's CEO, Stephen Cornish said while the key tourism feature of the region is the iconic Grampians National Park the Pyrenees hasn't missed out on its share of attention by Grampians Tourism.
"During the last twelve months there have been a number of workshops and seminars hosted in the Pyrenees to support the professional development of tourism industry stakeholders," Mr Cornish said.
"These include a wine symposium at Avoca Shire Turf Club, various tourism excellence workshops on tourism packaging, excellence in customer service, social media and local participation in the 2012 leadership program."
Industry Development Manager Matt Jones will soon be running a 'Grow Your Business' program due to commence in early 2013.
The program provides opportunites for local businesses and has been successful in Bendigo.
Representatives of Grampians Tourism have also attended a number of local business association events and functions during the year such as networking functions held by Business for Beaufort and branding and marketing workshops for Pyrenees Grapegrowers and Winemakers.
Advice and letters of support have also been provided to industry stakeholders looking to invest in new tourism experiences and wishing to access grant funds.
The widely distributed Grampians Visitor Guide and touring map has also provided exposure for businesses in the Pyrenees Shire.
Articles on Pyrenees tourism accommodation and attractions have appeared in the Age Newspaper, Epicure and the Sunday Herald Sun travel section.
Stephen Cornish said it was great to see Avoca and Great Western featured in Tourism Victoria's Villages of Victoria program during 2011-12.
"Grampians Tourism has also been responsible for marketing the area via television by coordinating a visit to the Avoca Hotel by the Postcards program and Three Troupers Pantry in Beaufort by Coxy's Big Break," Mr Cornish said.
"In addition the use of modern telecommunication through facebook, youtube and phone applications are all part of the current promotional tools being used to market the region."
A plan is currently being developed by the 2012 leadership group to promote the region as a food and wine destination featuring the Pyrenees as a key food and wine location.