Goulburn River Valley Tourism is charged with a number of specific strategic functions through its Memorandum of Understanding with Member Councils.
These are all undertaken with the view to maximising the economic return from the broader 'visitor economy' or 'tourism industry' in the region.
Our role is to market the region under our agreed consumer brand the 'Heart of Victoria'. We work to attract visitors to the region - whatever the purpose of their visit maybe - increase their spend (or yield) while they are here and encourage dispersal across the region.
How we do this includes things like our popular regional Guide (formerly known as the 'Holiday Planner'), participation at consumer trade events, touring maps, marketing campaigns, consumer newsletters, social media channels and leveraging PR opportunities and alike.
Our consumer platform www.heartofvictoria.com.au with inspirational content, rich product listings and booking capacity is a key driver in this area.
We work with stakeholders to develop the region. Industry, product, skills and investment opportunities are all part of this role.
A key driver in this area has been the development of the Goulburn River Valley Destination Management Plan released in May 2014 and subsequent Investment Prospectus.
Workshops, keeping industry up to date with trends & issues and assisting with growing and maturing product development are just some of the ways that we go about it.
We provide professional development, learning and network opportunities to share learnings and successes across the region and beyond.
These include supporting local tourism and business associations in their initiatives, regular industry newsletters, key networking events such as the annual 'Heart of Victoria' tourism dinner, hosting workshops on topics of relevance and just being available for questions or queries by email or on the end of the phone.
We don't forget our all important staff and volunteers at our Visitor Information Centres with our annual VIC Summit and 'famil' tours to provide hands-on experiences of the broader region and professional development for these all important front-line ambassadors.
Ensuring that the Goulburn River Valley region is engaged in the broader tourism agenda, and encouraging key stakeholders to do likewise, is a key part of our role. That is why we are an active member of the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC), a member of the Australian Regional Tourism Network (ARTN) and Cultural Tourism Victoria for example.
We also act as independent voice or advocate for the tourism industry in the region. Whether that is support for funding for a project that aligns with the region's Destination Management Plan, monitoring visitation trends and statistics, supporting the growth of a new festival or event or agitating for change on a particular issue - if it is the best interests of the region our role is to advocate on behalf of our industry.
In short, we do what we can to promote and develop the visitor economy (and the economic, environmental and social benefits that can derive from it) throughout the municipalities of Greater Shepparton, Mitchell, Strathbogie and Murrindindi Councils - the Goulburn River Valley region, the 'Heart of Victoria'.
Importantly we do this in partnership and collaboration with a range of stakeholders including our member councils, industry operatives and the broader community recognising the positive effect tourism can have on the region.