Sunshine and clear blue skies greeted CEO of Tourism Victoria Leigh Harry when he visited Yarrawonga on the weekend.FIONA BLICK September 2, 2014 3:12pm
Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism and Member for Murray Valley Tim
McCurdy said it was a wonderful outcome for the region to have Mr Harry visit.
“Mr Harry is involved in the key decision making processes for Tourism Victoria
so it was a terrific coup to get him here, take him on a tour of the region and to be
able to discuss our key products and potential,” Mr McCurdy said.
“Tourism is an important industry for our local region that can have a positive impact not just on direct tourism and hospitality service providers but many other local businesses.
“The strength of our region to be able to host events is also significant.”
Mr McCurdy said discussions with Mr Harry included the Yarrawonga foreshore and the Silverwoods project.
“Although this project has stalled in the past it is gaining momentum now,” Mr McCurdy said.
“The developers are focusing on high-end tourism and it’s great for Yarrawonga in to the future.
“Moira Shire representatives were in attendance and the mayor expressed his support for investment in tourism in the shire.”
Mr McCurdy said he would follow up the discussions he had with Mr Harry with Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louise Asher and local representatives including those from Tourism North East.
Leigh Harry is recognised as an international leader in the field of business events, having held the positions of International President of both the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) and International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) from 2006-2010.
Leigh has had extensive experience working with both State and Federal Government and the private sector.
Before joining Tourism Victoria, Leigh was Chief Executive of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC).
Yarrawonga Mulwala Tourism (YMT) president Doug Evans said Mr Harry was very receptive to the ideas and plans presented to him.
“We gave him a copy of YMT’s Business Plan and he was impressed with its professionalism and the strength of our goals,” Mr Evans said.
“Yarrawonga’s expected growth is around 75% during the next 15 years so it is not just a farming or retirement town.
“A big percentage of our wealth is in tourism and we have to continue to build on it.”
Mr Evan’s praised Tim McCurdy’s dedication to the “Yarrawonga cause”.
“He has given his help consistently and has been a tremendous advocate for Yarrawonga,” Mr Evans said.
“To bring Mr Harry to the area was a coup.
“We discussed the importance of the airport and the Silverwoods development as well as a bike track linking Wangaratta to Yarrawonga.
“It is necessary to promote tourism events and it was a wonderful opportunity to speak with Mr Harry.”
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