Ocean road economy ‘growing faster than expected”

Wayne Kayler-Thomson

Signs of a surging economy along the Great Ocean Road have prompted a call for “substantial investment” in the iconic touring route.

Latest figures showed increases of 16 to 18 per cent for key indicators of the road’s economic value, including employment, said the region’s tourism authority.

“The visitor economy of the region is growing far faster than expected … and the latest forecasts indicate continued visitation increases of up to 50 per cent by 2025,” said Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism’s Wayne Kalyer-Thomson.

“Substantial investment” in maintenance and infrastructure, including privately operated accommodation and experiences, would “further secure the economic contribution within the region”, he said.

“This will underpin employment and the sustainability of the cities and towns of the region.”

Maintenance and investment along the Great Ocean Road has been a hot topic in recent years, particularly since a series of landslips several years ago caused significant road closures.

Residents and businesses along the road have regularly raised concerns about maintenance standards, with federal and state governments both pledging to spend $50 million each on various works and upgrades.

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