Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism Latest Newsletter
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GORRT Activities
  • Save the Date - Inaugural Tourism Conference
  • Business Services Update
  • Jo Birley Industry Project Update
  • Claire Eats Industry Project Update
  • Get Social
  • What's On
Industry News
  • State Budget Fails to Recognise the Significance of the Regions Visitor Economy
  • 2017 Great Ocean Road Tourism Awards Workshop
  • 2017 Victorian Tourism Conference
  • Regional Jobs and Investment Package
SAVE THE DATE  Thursday 10th August!

We are pleased to announce that our inaugural conference will be held in Warrnambool as part of the small business festival. The conference - Recipe For Success will be a marketing master class that will showcase the key ingredients to achieving greater success in your business. Commit to spending a whole day to focus on building  Your product, Your brand and growing Your audience. Learn tricks and tips to make your dollars, energy and efforts stretch further. Peter Bingeman, CEO of  the newly formed Visit Victoria will share with you, the vision and strategy of Visit Victoria and the research behind Visit Victoria's current campaign "Wander Victoria". Stay tuned for the release of the full program and book early!

This month's famil program was undertaken in partnership with IMG's "Great Ocean Road Running Festival." The new look Running Festival, formally known as the Great Ocean Road Marathon, included a suite of walking and running events to cater for all fitness levels and all members of the family. The support program including movies, music, yoga and kite flying ensured visitors could spend the entire weekend soaking up the atmosphere. 

Will Woodward from the Guardian Newspaper attended a Great Ocean Road Running Festival familiarisation last month.  His article has now been published. Click here to read.  The article has also been circulated through the @visitgreatoceanroad social media channels.

We have also had the opportunity to again work in partnership with Cox Marketing and the Great Ocean Road Running Festival to host a familiarisation with Malaysian Airlines. Zurien Onn traveled to the region over the running festival weekend to write for the Malaysian Airlines inflight magazine called "Going Places". The monthly leisure and travel magazine is made available to over 36,000 traveling passengers. We will share the article with you once it has been published.
Thank you to all of the operators who hosted Zurien and her family.

I Am the G.O.R VIP Event Blogger  
Matt Charlesworth the winner of our Great Ocean Road VIP blogger of the year competition has been out and about attending his first two events.
Matt attended the Warrnambool May Race Carnival and the Great Ocean Road Running Festival. You may have viewed his Instagram "my stories" as he has taken over the @visitgreatoceanroad Instagram page during these events. Click here to read his first blog piece "The Bool"'

ATE17 Wraps-Up in Sydney
Tourism Australia  wrapped up the 38th edition of its annual business-to-business event last week, the 2017 Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE17), held at the International Convention Centre Sydney in conjunction with host State partner Destination NSW and airline partners Virgin Australia and Etihad Airways.

The event brought together 548 international travel companies from more than 30 countries and 555 Australian tourism businesses who conducted over 45,000 business appointments.

 “At ATE17 we have had 86 new buyers, 55 per cent of whom are from Asia, as well as 83 new Australian product sellers attending ATE for the first time alongside our returning buyers and sellers, all meeting to generate future tourism business for Australia,” Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan noted.

 “Just one example is the Great Ocean Road Resort, the most requested seller company this year, which reports that Chinese buyers and Inbound Tour Operators are scheduling an additional day on the Great Ocean Road into their itineraries. This will benefit all businesses in that important tourism region.”

Great Ocean Road continues to shine in the International Market through their partnership with Great Southern Touring Route.   GSTR was well represented at the Australian Tourism Exchange ( ATE)  where the 2017/2018 GSTR Program was promoted to our international trade colleagues.  Several Great Ocean Road operators attended ATE in their own right, establishing networks and promotional opportunities with international buyers from all over the globe.

Great Southern Touring Route works in International markets that are seen as core for Tourism Australia and Visit Victoria, markets are selected depending on a number of factors including regional dispersal, length of stay and yield.  

Clicking this link link will give you an interesting insight into the benefits of being involved in the international market.

If you have any questions at all about a particular market please check out the market profile page of our website or contact Liz Price on 0448385176.
Great Ocean Road Travel Planner 2017/2018
The Great Ocean Road Travel planner is the official guide to the region and is hot off the press. This Guide is the region's flagship publication distributed at both Melbourne and Avalon Airports, through the Melbourne Visitor Information Centre at Federation Square, through Melbourne hotels, Tour Operators and Hire car companies and through the accredited network of Visitor Information Centres.

This Latest edition includes a feature centrefold showcasing the strength of the region's event calendar. Events are a great motivator to consumers to explore a region and a great source of repeat visitation. An additional 50,000 copies of the event calendar will be available for distribution within the region to encourage repeat visitation.

Both the Travel Planner and the Event guide are available as digital guides and we encourage you to place links to the digital versions of these guides on your own sites, in your booking confirmations or on your emails to guests to inspire them  and to encourage them to spend an extra day or two in the region. View the travel planner and the event calendar online here or download a copy of the digital version
"Taste The Great Ocean Road" -
Our Taste The Great Ocean Road promotion is now live, with several digital advertisements being published through our @visitgreatoceanroad social media channels.

The promotional video has already reached over 36,000 people with 20,000 video views in its first two weeks. Exciting to note Channel 7's Intolerant Cooks and Visit Melbourne are sharing the posts, giving us an even wider reach!

The campaign will run throughout Winter promoting participating operators. 
You can download menus to recommend to guests here and remember to tag @visitgreatoceanroad using the hashtags #tastethegor #IAMtastesofthegor
"'From ocean fresh seafood and local craft beer to a 5 course degustation using farm gate produce, you'll get a taste for the Great Ocean Road that will beckon you back time and time again.
Start planning your meals and click through to discover some appetising offers."

Business Services Online Store Now Open

We have  'flicked the switch' and our online business services platform is now live.
Many operators have already used the store to purchase GORRT products and services. Operators can also renew their partnership packages through the online business services store.

Link to the online Business Services online store is here. 

Last chance to list your business in the NEW Official Destination Maps

We have been visiting different destinations across the region over the past month speaking with  tourism operators about the opportunity to advertise in the new Destination Maps.

Each of the ‘new look’ pocket sized publications feature a map specific to your destination and includes creative editorial and imagery, providing visitors with  information and inspiration around where to eat, things to do, and places to visit.  

75,000 print copies of each Destination Map will be distributed at accredited Visitor Information Centres across the Great Ocean Road Region and at major local accommodation and attractions plus a digital version will also be available. 

The investment to include your listing in the map is just $495 which allows for an image, contact information, web address and a brief business description.

Hurry! Don't miss out!
*Note: There are now limited listing spaces left for the Port Fairy Destination Map and will be closing soon!   

Port Fairy listing enquiries contact Lauren Orero
Email. or phone: 0422 030 877 

Other Destination Listings contact Andrew Humphris
Email. or phone: 0422 158 855
Buy your Destination Map listing online

Shearwater Cottages - Port Fairy
Whispers - Port Fairy
Castwood Villa 1 & 2 - Port Fairy
Tonic - Port Fairy
Perfume Waters Gallery - Port Fairy
One on James - Port Fairy
Mickey Bourke's Koroit Hotel  - Koroit
Cook's Retreat - Warrnambool
Bay of Whales Gallery - Warrnambool
Timor Street Market - Warrnambool
Anglesea Overboard Seaside Cottage - Anglesea
AIrey's Overboard Seaside Cottage - Airey's Inlet
Little Feast  - Airey's Inlet
Cascade Hotel - Camperdown
Want to connect with the ever increasing Chinese Tourism market?

WeChat is one of the leading social networks and is the largest standalone mobile messaging app in China, with more than 800 million monthly active users worldwide.

When travelling or planning travel, Chinese are very reliant on the internet to aid their travel decisions & bookings, with over 50% of travel bookings in China now transacted online. Many of these transactions are made through WeChat.

Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism has its own WeChat page whereby operators can promote their own deals and promotions directly to the Chinese market in China and whilst travelling abroad.

If you are interested in promoting your business, or require further information regarding the official GORT WeChat page, email Andrew at

Download the WeChat prospectus here
Download the latest GORRT WeChat analytics report here

Anglesea, Lorne, Apollo Bay, Otways, 12 Apostles Coast and Hinterland, Winchelsea & Aireys Inlet

The launch of the Taste the Great Ocean Road in early May, has certainly tempted our taste buds!  I am looking forward to trying out all the set menus at participating businesses! 

I have also had the opportunity to be out and about discovering new products, one of the exciting products I visited was "Trees Adventure Otway Park"  conquering my fear of heights while still admitting that maybe the decision not to join the army was a good one.

Events and activities that have drawn on the Economic & Community Recovery fund following the 2015/16 bushfires continue to evolve.  Regional Development Victoria has funded these activities to assist the community and businesses that were affected by the fire and road closures.

Otway Central Coast Destination Action Plan
We have recently facilitated a new Destination Action plan for the area between Wongarra and Separation Creek that was most affected by the fire.  Working with local business and community group representatives, along with key government agencies we have developed  key priorities and actions in regard to the visitor economy in the area.  We look forward to continuing to work with the group to assist with implementation.

Otways Brand Story Workshop
Brand strategist Tania Farrelly -  iSpy Media is  facilitating a workshop which is  open to Colac Otway businesses  on June 20th, 2017.   The workshop aims to provide the necessary tools for  operators to further develop  their own 'brand'  which will strengthen their position in market.  The workshop has been heavily subsidised by recovery funds.   Contact Adrian Healey , Tourism Development Manager at Colac Otway Shire to express your interest in attending.  Book now! Limited spaces available

We encourage all operators to give their support to the new events in the region that were  developed with the recovery funding from Regional Development Victoria following the bush fires in 2015/16.
The marketing campaign is now in full swing and tickets are available... scroll down for more info in the "What's On" section of this newsletter.

The Otways Shakespeare Trilogy is also taking shape with events scheduled at the Cape Otway Lightstation, The Otway Fly and Otway Estate for October and November.  More details will be available in our next newsletter

For further information please contact
Jo Birley - P
roject Officer
Ph: 0448448666
Torquay, Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Portland

Blog Module!
It’s live! We are very excited to introduce the blog module on the Visit Great Ocean Road website -

Creating new content is an important part of keeping your website current and fresh and also has a great benefit to your search engine results in google.   If you have a blog that you would like to share, upload your blog via ‘’share your story’’ and we will review and publish your blog.
We look forward to rolling the blog module out across all destination sites.
It’s Whale Season!
Have you spotted a whale?   We know that whale sightings encourage a boost in visitation and our visitors are excited to know where the whales have been sighted, so please ensure that you help us keep the whale sighting blog accurate and current. 
Upload your whale sighting direct to our whale blog here

Torquay Life Festival
An invitation is extended to partners who would like to join the committee of the Torquay Life Festival in October. The committee meets monthly, with the next meeting scheduled on Monday 19th June 2017, 6:00-7.30pm, venue to be advised. For further information or registration of  your attendance, email

Volcanic Lakes & Plains
We are very excited to be completing the Volcanic Lakes & Plains photo shoot next week. Fingers crossed we have sunshine and blue sky! Thank-you to our partners and community members that are assisting with the shoot and giving up their time. We look forward to bringing the working committee together  in June to present the images.

Port Fairy - Social Breakfast & Drop in Day
Together with Moyne Shire Council and  Port Fairy Tourism Inc, the May social function was held this week with over 25 attendees. A great morning with guest speaker Shaun Miller from Warrnambool China Bureau. Lauren Oreo and I also hosted a a GORRT drop in day on Wednesday. We will confirm the date of our next drop in day shortly.

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to contact me.
Claire Eats- Project Officer
Ph: 0448123005
We encourage you to promote your business and  your favorite images through our social media channels giving your business further exposure. 

Currently we have over 27,000 followers on Facebook, 40,000 followers on Instagram and almost 4,000 followers on Twitter, that's an additional reach for your business of 70,000 people!

Email your images and stories to or post them via your own social channels and use the handle @visitgreatoceanroad

Consumer Facebook page -Visit the Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road Limited - Corporate Facebook Page

Twitter @VstGreatOceanRd

Instagram-  We have just reached 40,000 followers!! @visitgreatoceanroad #IAMTorquay #IAMAnglesea #IAMLorne #IAMApollobay #IAMOtways #IAMWarrnambool #IAMPortfairy #IAMPortland

Here are some of the recent images that have featured on our social media feeds over the past few weeks. 

Discovering the secrets of Port Fairy. The only way is by . You can hire this beauty at the Port Fairy Visitor Information Centre. #iamportfairy #iamthegreatoceanroad #visitmelbourne #wandervictoria #australia #greatoceanroad #seeaustralia #tastethegor

The natural wonder of bush, beach and waterfalls! What do you love about Lorne?
#iamlorne #iamotways #wandervictoria #seeaustralia #iamthegreatoceanroad #visitvictoria #visitmelbourne @visitmelbourne #tastethegor #australia
Hear the power of Lower Kalimna Falls from its small cave. Capture by @petermorrisphotos. You can reach upper and lower Kalimna Falls from the Sheoak Falls Picnic Ground. #iamtheotways #iamlorne #iamthegreatoceanroad #wandervictoria #perfectgetaway #greatoceanroad #visitmelboure #australia
Dont forget to tag us @visitgreatoceanroad and #IAM to be re posted.
WHAT'S ON!    

Port Fairy Winter Weekends
Taking place every second weekend in June and July starting June 9th

We invite you to get out and about in the exhilarating elements to celebrate the art, music, performance, produce, food and wine, history, environment and the  people that make Port Fairy so special. Click here to find out more

Forrest Soup Fest -  June 11th
Make sure you are part of this heartwarming winter festival in the Otways !  Now in its 12th year the Forrest Soupfest is an annual festival featuring homemade soups. Come along and enjoy tasty homemade Soups, BBQ, Woodfire Pizza, Devonshire Tea and Coffee and other handmade local delights! A great winters day out! Click here to find out more

Run Forrest Trail Run -  June 11th
Staged in the hinterland township of Forrest, nestled in the heart of the Otway Ranges, Run Forrest will showcase the regions world class trails and breathtaking natural beauty – undulating hills, flowing rivers, dense fern gullies and the cool, fresh air of the Otway Ranges. The 5th annual Run Forrest – 10km & 21km & 5km Trail Run offers runners the most picturesque trails in Australia. Click here to find out more

Casterton Kelpie Festival -  10th & 11th June
The start of the long weekend in June is the street parade, followed by various novelty events, Kelpie high jump, Kelpie dash, Animal Nursery, Kelpie Pinball, Stock and Challenge and Kelpie Hill Climb just to name a few.  Sounds like great fun for all the family! Click here to find out more

Surf Coast Trail Marathon -  June 24th
The marathon course begins in Torquay overlooking Fisherman’s Beach foreshore. The route initially heads north west (back towards Ocean Grove) before doubling back onto ‘Fisho’s Beach’, passing in front of the boat club and picking up the Surf Coast Walk along Torquay promenade. The course follows the exact route of the Surf Coast Walk all the way to the finish at the Fairhaven Surf Life Saving Club. Click here to find out more

Fun4Kids Festival Warrnambool  - 5th-9th July 
The Fun4Kids Festival is Australia's BEST children's festival made up of 17 incredible fun zones full of kids entertainment and activities. Some of this years headlining acts include Jimmy Giggle, Popcorn and Dreamworks Trolls!  Click here to find out more

WinterWild Apollo Bay July  - August 2017
Bring on the darkness. Embrace the harsh elements of the Southern Otways this winter at WinterWild, a new after-dark arts festival in Apollo Bay.

Held over four wintery weekends, the town will be set alight with beach bonfires, music gigs, film screenings, dance performances, artist workshops, seasonal dinners and street performers.

Not for the faint hearted, we invite adventurous spirits to come together and celebrate the beauty of the elements at their extremes – Choose your element or gorge on all four!
Water (1 – 2 July) 
Earth (15 – 16 July), 
Air (29 – 30 July),  
Fire (12 – 13 August).  
Program and Tickets available - click here

Don't forget to list your event FREE on the Visit Victoria website and the Visit Great Ocean Road websites. Go to

The State Budget failure to fund Stage 2 and 3 of the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan (SCMP) is disappointing despite the intensive cooperative advocacy by Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism, our six partner local governments and both the Great South Coast and Barwon South West Regional partnerships. It was a big achievement having all of these stakeholders recognise and agree that the SCMP would be the number one priority project to deliver visitor economy opportunities for the entire region. The SCMP is also identified in the State Government Visitor Economy Strategy as a priority for regional development and was supported by the submission to the budget process by both Minister Eren, the Tourism Minister and Minister Pulford and the Regional Development Minister under the support of DEDJTR.
Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism (GORRT) has expressed its disappointment of the outcome to the Premier and responsible Ministers and also facilitated a high level delegation to meet with the senior representatives of DEDJTR.
Rather than dwell on the negatives and disappointment, our advocacy will continue to focus on securing funding for implementation for the complete SCMP in the next pre-election state budget, seeking support from the State Opposition and also the Federal Government.
In the short term, our advocacy is focused on securing funding and support for the safety, congestion and inadequacy of the visitor experience, managing peak period mass visitation such as an trialing an effective park and ride system and seeking infrastructure support to secure private infrastructure investment. Funding has been provided to explore a new governance model for the Great Ocean Road and GORRT will be actively participating in developing the options for such an initiative.
At today’s board meeting this was reaffirmed as the regions number one advocacy priority whilst acknowledging that the regions advocacy for the maintenance of the Great Ocean Road has seen the securing of $153m over the next four years.
Entry is now open to enter the 2017 RACV Victorian Tourism Awards.
Join your industry peers for a 'Tourism Excellence and Awards Information Session' at the Tourism Award winning Heytesbury House!   At the session, you will hear from this award winning business why they entered and why you should consider entering in 2017.

When: Friday 16th of June
Where: Heytesbury House 33 Parrott Street
Cobden ,Victoria, 3266

Time: 2pm-4pm 

The information session  is a 'must attend' for past and new entrants who are intending to enter the awards in 2017. You will also learn about the new 'online system' which has been implemented in 2017 for an easier and fairer entry process for everyone. Along with hints and tips from Judges and Mentors, you will be well equipped to get underway with your entry before it is due on Monday 4 September at 4pm.

The  2017 Victorian Tourism Conference (VTC17)  will be held at Flemington Racecourse on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 July, 2017.

Holly Ransom – CEO Emergent is the 2017 key-note speaker. Her presentation will examine the core components of effective change and provide a toolkit for leaders seeking to enhance their ability to build a roadmap for change- and to engage their people on the journey.

You will also hear the latest developments and industry relevant statistics from Facebook Managing Director, Paul McCrory, before Conference MC and social media guru Yvonne Adele joins him in a candid conversation delving into what the next 5 years look like in the Facebook world. Learn how to work with Facebook, the benefits of your business being engaged and the unpleasant alternative.

For a complete program of speakers and registration details, click here

 The Australian Government is investing $220 million in the Regional Jobs and Investment Packages (RJIP) to help diversify regional economies, stimulate economic growth and deliver sustainable employment in ten pilot regions. The Minister for Regional Development, the Hon Fiona Nash MP has published the Local Investment Plan for the Geelong region. The Geelong region takes in five local government areas including City of Greater Geelong, Golden Plains Shire, Surf Coast Shire, Borough of Queenscliffe and Colac Otway Shire.
Applications will open toDAY 31 May 2017 and close on 31 July 2017.
Three streams of funding are available under the program:
 Local Infrastructure
  • Grants are for local government bodies and agencies and not for profit organisations to invest in new or upgraded infrastructure projects. These projects will capitalise on opportunities for growth, deliver long-term economic benefits to regional communities, and create jobs.
Business Innovation
  • Grants will enable business to build scale and capability to be competitive in new or growing markets that create sustainable employment.
Skills and training
  • Grants will provide funding to local government bodies and agencies and not for profit organisations. These projects will support training and upskilling of the regional workforce to meet regional priorities, take advantage of emerging opportunities and withstand major labour market changes.
 Information about the program including the Program Guidelines, Fact Sheets and the Local Investment Plan are available here:
To be competitive for funding, projects must align with the Local Investment Plan.
Information sessions will be held in Colac (9am, Friday 16 June) and Geelong (9am, Monday 19 June).  For further details and to register click the following links:

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