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Regions “miss out”

GRAMPIANS Tourism has joined forces with Victoria’s 10 other regional tourism boards to call on federal tourism minister, Dan Tehan, to expand the ‘half-price flights’ initiative to more airports in the state.

Grampians Tourism chief executive, Marc Sleeman was one of 11 regional tourism representatives to sign a joint letter to Mr Tehan last week calling for more Victorian locations to be added to the government’s tourism and aviation industry support package.

Mr Tehan announced the $1.2 billion support package earlier this month, which included a commitment from the government to fund 800,000 half-price airfares to encourage Australians to travel interstate.

However regional Victorian tourism bodies were left disappointed, with just one Victorian airport – Avalon – included on the list of 14 eligible airports under the program.

“While we welcome the announcement to support the Australian tourism industry, we are deeply disappointed only one Victorian destination, Avalon, was included in the $1.2 billion initiative,” the letter stated.

“The vast majority of regional Victoria missed out – and disproportionately – compared with regional areas in other parts of the country.”

Five Queensland airports and three Tasmania airports were included in the program, with the tourism bodies calling for Albury, Mildura, Bendigo and Tullamarine airports to be added.

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