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Visitors bounce back to East Gippsland
Date of Issue: 
May 17, 2024

Newly released visitor data tells a positive story for East Gippsland.

Tourism Research Australia’s figures for the 2023 year show that East Gippsland’s visitor numbers increased by 26% on the previous year with an estimated total of 1.71 million people making the trip to enjoy our region. This is the highest figure ever recorded.

Domestic overnight visitation was up 7% on the previous year, while day visitation increased 54%, with figures now exceeding pre-pandemic levels. These visitors have contributed an estimated $634 million to the East Gippsland economy.

East Gippsland Shire Mayor, Cr Tom Crook, welcomed the news.

“East Gippsland Shire is committed to ensuring we remain a destination of choice for new and returning visitors to ensure we continue to build a strong visitor economy.

“It’s been a challenging few years, with bushfires followed by COVID lockdowns taking a toll on the local economy and placing a strain on our tourism industry,” Cr Crook said.

“Council, in collaboration with our tourism industry partners, is working hard to promote the region and attract visitors to support local business.”

Council is spearheading tourism projects and upgrades aimed at improving public spaces, supporting local businesses, and enhancing recreational activities, to make East Gippsland an even more appealing destination.

"Our goal is to not only beautify our towns but also drive tourism growth and economic prosperity," Cr Crook said.

Council-led projects that are bolstering tourism across the shire include:

• the Omeo Mountain Bike Trails project;

• streetscape enhancements in Lakes Entrance, Cann River and Bruthen;

• the Raymond Island Koala Trail;

• the Bullock Island, Lakes Entrance, redevelopment;

• boat ramp upgrades in towns including Lakes Entrance and Metung; and

• Development of the new Eagle Point Foreshore Hub.

The statistics also show there has been a reassuring return of international visitors to the East Gippsland region.

East Gippsland will be well represented at a major international tourism trade event,Australian Tourism Exchange, to be held in Melbourne this month.

The event will attract over 700 tourism-industry stakeholders from over 30 countries, all seeking new destinations and tourism experiences, and East Gippsland is well positioned to show it can match it with other destinations across Australia.

Tourism providers are reminded that applications for the Victorian Government’s Regional Tourism Investment Fund, which offers grants of up to $5 million for small and large-scale projects and accommodation improvement projects, are open until Friday 19 July, at

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