The Victoria Tourism Industry Council has made a number of recommendations to the State Government's Regional Tourism Review to ensure Victoria's regional visitor economy continues to grow.
VTIC's recommendations were informed by feedback from over 200 industry members representing the diversity of the Victorian visitor economy.
Chief executive Felicia Mariani said the recommendations contained within their submission provided a comprehensive and cohesive industry position on the actions needed to keep regional tourism competitive and grow regional jobs.
"Tourism is a key contributor to Victoria's regional economy, generating $7.5 billion in economic activity and directly and indirectly employing over 85,000 people," she said.
Read more: Parrot numbers rebound at Deep Lead | Photos
"It supports many small businesses and contributes to the resilience, diversity and vibrancy of local economies across the state.
"Regional tourism businesses and partner organisations are taking the lead to stay competitive, becoming more strategic in their planning, marketing and promotion. They are becoming more innovative in the way they provide products and services to visitors.
"The role of policy makers is to support these efforts, helping our regions and their individual businesses navigate the opportunities and challenges that are emerging," Ms Mariani said.
VTIC's recommendations included reforms to regional destination planning to support increased investment; statutory planning and red tape reforms to attract more private investment, and measures to strengthen tourism education and training and attract more skilled workers to regional Victoria.
"The adoption of the recommendations put forward in VTIC's submission will support the industry to capitalise on its strengths and grow visitor numbers and expenditure across Victoria," Ms Mariani said.
"Because regional tourism intersects so many areas within the responsibility of government - industry and regional development, employment, small business, transport, infrastructure, the environment and education and training - it is crucial there is a whole of government response to the Regional Tourism Review."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday morning from the Stawell Times-News. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Northern Grampians shire, sign up here.