DESTINATION Gippsland is ramping up its efforts to bring visitors back to Gippsland in the wake of the bushfires that have devastated communities and businesses in the region.
A major marketing campaign has begun across all media in Melbourne and regional Victoria, with the initial push to promote visits to the Gippsland Lakes.
The 'Let's go to the Gippsland Lakes' campaign is being rolled out in metropolitan and regional areas to reach a wide audience, communicating across posters, billboards, social media, television and radio advertising.
Destination Gippsland chief executive Terry Robinson said the Gippsland Lakes' tourism industry had been heavily affected by the bushfires, and the bushfire recovery campaign encouraged visitors to return, enjoy the region's natural beauty and do their bit for bushfire recovery.
"Destination Gippsland has placed nearly $500,000 worth of advertising into key metropolitan and regional markets for a fraction of the cost," Mr Robinson said.
"Destination Gippsland is working with local government, tourism bodies and businesses to let everybody know that our region is open for business and welcoming visitors back.
"We are also advocating directly to state and federal government representatives for significant tourism marketing, events, infrastructure and industry support as part of the broader recovery effort for tourism in Gippsland."
Destination Gippsland has appointed Lyndel Moore, a passionate and well-known east Gippslander, as its east Gippsland bushfire recovery tourism manager, based in Bairnsdale.
She has an extensive background in events and marketing, and will work with tourism businesses to re-energise visitation to the region.
Mr Robinson said Destination Gippsland had been working with many partners including Visit Victoria and East Gippsland Marketing to bring tourists back to Gippsland.
"Recent media visits have included the Today Show in Metung, Sunrise and 3AW in Lakes Entrance, and the ABC Conversation Hour in a number of our fire affected towns," he said.
"There is much more media activity and marketing to come, and we have plans for a huge effort over the coming months to promote our wonderful region and bring back the visitors who are the lifeblood of our economy."