Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce and businesses have self-funded a tourism campaign after calls for government funding were unsuccessful.
Businesses hope to draw back tourists after a fire and landslides deterred visitors in the past year.
Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce president John Gorman said the I Am Apollo Bay marketing campaign, which launched in November, featured a billboard at Laverton, posters across Melbourne, a website and a social media campaign which started on Wednesday.
“We just felt that we needed to do something more ourselves and as a chamber we decided that we would put in money and as businesses to put in money,” he said.
Mr Gorman said the chamber of commerce, businesses from Apollo Bay, Beech Forest and an Otway tourism committee funded the campaign.
“We really have had a difficult year because of the road closures from the bushfire through to the landslip and it was pretty cold winter, so it’s been a difficult year,” he said.
Mr Gorman said he believed people took the Great Ocean Road for granted and it was an “incredibly important asset to Victoria because it brings a lot of tourists into Victoria”.
“We called upon the government,” he said.
“Because the road had let us down, because of that fact there was a sad and serious lack of investment in the road.
“We do feel that the government should have done something but despite our call the State Government decided they were already doing a lot on tourism and they didn’t have the money to put more specifically into Apollo Bay.”
Mr Gorman said he had received feedback from businesses saying they believed the government should have funded the campaign.
For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.