The State Government has introduced new laws allowing all Victorian businesses to trade on Easter Sunday.
Innovation, Services and Small Business Minister Louise Asher said the new legislation will generate millions of dollars in revenue from increased tourism and retail activity, and ensure that Victoria is a tourist destination that meets international expectations.
"All businesses will now be able to capitalise on the influx of holidaymakers at this busy time of year,” Ms Asher said.
"Any business that wishes to trade on Easter Sunday will now be legally able to do so and that business itself will make that choice, not the government.”
Christmas Day, Good Friday and the morning of ANZAC Day will remain non-trading days.
Dine in style before flying miles
Melbourne Airport has welcomed the opening of Melbourne food icon Café Vue in its new international terminal.
Passengers can now sample the acclaimed cuisine of award-winning Melbourne chef Shannon Bennett.
Melbourne Airport CEO Chris Woodruff said Café Vue was part of an entirely new international passenger precinct which would serve 2.9 million departing international passengers a year.
Shannon Bennett said, “It’s not every day that the opportunity to be a part of millions of international journeys presents itself. I am excited about providing food to tempt and delight Melbourne’s international travellers.”
Melbourne to launch International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association – Australasia
The official launch of the Australasian division of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) will take place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 16 February 2011.
Writers from around the country have been quick to realise the benefits of belonging to a global association providing a rich source of story leads and markets together with international recognition.
Kevin Moloney, Australian Chair of IFWTWA says, "Australians are known for their travel addiction and love of food and wine. The explosion in consumer awareness of food in the region and an ever-increasing penchant for travel has spawned a thirst for quality travel, food and wine journalism."
iPhone App puts Melbourne in the palm of your hand
Citadines on Bourke Melbourne has launched the Citadines Melbourne City Explorer iPhone App.
Designed to help guests keep on top of the latest restaurants, bars, shows, nightlife, shopping and sports events that Melbourne has to offer, the Citadines on Bourke Melbourne App puts Melbourne in the palm of your hand.
Assistance for flood-affected small businesses in regional Victoria
Small business owners affected by the 2010 and 2011 floods are eligible for a range of State and Commonwealth grants and business assistance.
The Victorian Government, through the Rural Finance Corporation, is offering a $25,000 Clean Up and Restoration grant for eligible small businesses. This grant is available to those still cleaning up from September 2010. Through the Rural Finance Committee, the government is also offering low interest loans of up to $200,000. Contact Rural Finance on (03) 5448 2600 or visit ruralfinance.com.au
In addition, the Australian Government has activated the Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy to assist employees and small business persons who have lost income as a direct result of the flooding and severe weather that began on 29 November 2010 and continued in January/February 2011. For more information on the Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy call Centrelink on 180 22 66, or visit your local Centrelink Customer Service Centre or Centrelink Agent.
Additionally, funding has been announced for a tourism recovery program. This is likely to involve tactical marketing in the short term in print and electronic media to promote visitation to flood-affected regions, when it is appropriate. We are liaising with Tourism Australia and other partners and will soon be in more detailed discussions with your region about the most effective ways to encourage visitation and to support the recovery of tourism firms.
Mentors (or business advisers) are available at no cost through Small Business Victoria. This program of one-on-one professional advice may include:
working with business owners to assess the overall impact of the floods on business viability
support for business owners in dealing with insurance coverage issues
investigating available government assistance
support in handling communication with employees, customers and suppliers
reviewing the business's financial position
working with owners to plan the re-opening of their businesses.
As part of our Nature-based Tourism Strategy marketing campaign, Tourism Victoria recently premiered The Art of Walking documentary in New York City.
The audience of media and trade representatives saw the documentary, which has also screened on the National Geographic Channel in Australia, Asia, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and the UK.
The documentary follows world-famous American environmentalist John Francis, former-Olympic ice skater Katarina Witt and Australian paralympian Michael Milton, as they experience the startling beauty of one of Australia’s greatest icons – the 104km Great Ocean Walk.
After the screening, the audience in New York met with Victorian operators who were participating in a North American Roadshow.
New Food Fossicking Guide to Bendigo
Visitors to the Central Victorian Goldfields can uncover the best foodie gems in Bendigo and beyond with the new Food Fossicking Guide to Bendigo and the Region.
Highlighting the incredible product diversity in this compact region, the A6 pocket-sized guide showcases food businesses that are passionate about local produce.
Visitors are able to search by business type or by location, and browse categories including an impressive beverage producer section which includes Balgownie Estate, Shelmerdine and Heathcote wine growers and also cider producers Bress and Henry of Harcourt.
Other categories include cafes and coffee shops, restaurants, pubs and hotels, food retailers and provedores, meat producers and butchers and primary producers.
Budget-friendly adventures on backpackmelbourne.com
Visitors to the official backpacker website for Melbourne – backpackmelbourne.com – can now watch two new videos following the adventures of Tim, a British backpacker in Melbourne.
Focusing on Melbourne at night and Melbourne on a budget, the two clips showcase a number of the city’s countless backpacker-friendly attractions including Chinatown, live music, hip bars, café culture, Federation Square and ACMI, St Kilda Beach and the footy.
The site also features candid testimonials from young working holidaymakers from a variety of countries, keen to share their experiences of harvest work in regional Victoria.
Industry relevant backpacker information can be found on Tourism Victoria’s corporate site, which has been updated with the Backpacker Market Profile 2010, Backpacker Fact Sheet 2010 and The impact of Working Holiday Makers on the Tourism Economy of Mildura in Regional Victoria 2010 research report.
Melbourne Tourism Industry Leadership program
Destination Melbourne has announced the participants of the 2011 Melbourne Tourism Industry Leadership Program.
Now in its third year, the program is aimed at tourism industry professionals with a passion to excel in the industry and a willingness to develop their leadership skills.
This year’s participants come from a range of industry sectors including accommodation, attraction, small business operators, backpacker and not for profit sectors.
Philip Nunn has been appointed the inaugural chief executive officer of the new Murray Tourism Board.
Mr Nunn has previously been CEO of the Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board and Geelong Football Club, chairman of the Mansfield Mt Buller Regional Tourism Association and board member of the Board of Alpine Resorts Tourism.
The new board is a joint venture between Campaspe, Murray, Moira, Balranald, Berrigan, Corowa, Deniliquin, Gannawarra, Greater Hume and Wakool shire councils, Mildura and Swan Hill rural city councils, Wodonga City Council, Tourism Victoria, Tourism NSW and the region's tourism industry.