Destination Gippsland is working hard to get visitors back to area

Towns like Briagolong rely on spending by tourists, but with prolific media coverage surrounding the Gippsland fires, visitor numbers have dropped substantially.
Towns like Briagolong rely on spending by tourists, but with prolific media coverage surrounding the Gippsland fires, visitor numbers have dropped substantially.

DESTINATION Gippsland is working with local businesses, community groups and all levels of government to support the tourism industry in response to the fires, describing this is "an extremely difficult time" for communities in east Gippsland and the wider region.

Collective efforts are focused on the immediate response actions needed while there are active fires and warnings, as well as supporting those areas of Gippsland not in danger of fires but experiencing low visitation.

The organisation said it had activated its Regional Tourism Response and Recovery Plan, ramping up consumer and industry communications and media liaison.

It is also providing tourism input into government and emergency services responses, assessing regional economic impacts and planning stimulus recovery strategies, and visiting affected areas where possible and meeting local businesses

It has restarted and increased the Destination Gippsland social media presence with paid boosting, promoting to key target audiences within Gippsland, intrastate and into Melbourne with messages for all of Gippsland that are accessible and not under emergency service warning.

Destination Gippsland has also secured support from other tourism digital platforms and social media sites to spread the Gippsland message.

It is speaking with media organisations encouraging them to promote all of Gippsland that is accessible and not under emergency services warning, and is working with Visit Victoria on scaling up the 'Gippsland - All Kinds of Wonder' campaign for 2020 as soon as possible.

Destination Gippsland said it had been in discussions with Tourism Australia to promote the region to world-wide audiences, and has started planning for messaging throughout coming months, domestically and internationally.

It is also gathering statistics and information regarding the impact of the fires in the region, and is asking for operators to share information including cancellations, occupancy, and other changes of note that can be attributed to the disaster.

Data and statistics can be emailed to Janine Hayes at jhayes@destinationgippsland.com.au.

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