Visit Baw Baw: It’s Closer Than You Think

Published on 14 September 2018


An exciting and well attended launch of Council’s recently adopted Economic Development Strategy took place last night at the Railway Hotel in Warragul.

A highlight of the event included the unveiling of the refreshed Visit Baw Baw website and tourism tagline – Closer Than You Think. The campaign focusing on the Shire’s proximity to Melbourne targeting day-trip visitors to hero destinations: Walhalla, Noojee and Yarragon.

Visit Baw Baw’s new ambassador, AFL legend and former Warragul local Bob Murphy was also there to help launch the exciting new campaign. Find out more about Bob’s ambassadorship at Baw Baw’s Favourite Son Bob Murphy Joins the Team.

The launch was an opportunity for Council to acknowledge each of the stakeholders who contributed to different elements of the strategy including Councillors, Council officers, Business Advisory Board, local business, tourism operators and community members.

Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Cr Joe Gauci officiated the launch alongside Executive Manager Communications and Economic Development Mark Kestigian.

Mr Kestigian said, “The strategy takes a fresh approach to tourism marketing set to put Baw Baw Shire on the map, especially for our target market Melbourne day-trippers, which has an audience of around 5 million”.

“We’re focusing on raising awareness among the greater metropolitan Melbourne area that Baw Baw Shire is not only on their doorstep but strewn with world class natural wonders and hospitable locals.

“The refreshed Visit Baw Baw website is a key element of our tourism marketing and was created with the goal of providing visitors with the information they need, while also providing our tourism industry with the opportunity to showcase their businesses. The website is supported by advanced analytics to ensure that we can measure and analyse the success of the website and ensure that it’s as effective as it can be. We’ll will be working with local tourism businesses to help them get the most out of the site in the coming months.

“From a business development perspective, we’re excited to pave a new way forward working closely and collaboratively with industry, government, community and tourism groups to support local businesses, increase employment and productivity to ensure our local economy thrives for years to come.”

The strategy will guide Council’s work supporting economic development over the next three years based on four strategic pillars:

  • Business engagement: Increase interaction and activity in the local business community and foster collaborative linkages wherever possible.
  • Business attraction: Increase business investment to diversify and add value to the local economy. This is about letting investors know that Baw Baw Shire Council is ‘open for business’ and that we have the processes in place to facilitate this.
  • Business advocacy: Speak out on issues that matter to the local community, support community campaigns and provide the best possible economic benefits for our businesses. Advocacy priorities include securing funding for a new hospital for West Gippsland, increasing investment in our rural road network to improve routes to market, additional kindergartens and early learning centres to support our growing population and developing a regional sport and recreation centre.
  • Tourism: Recognise the importance of tourism promotion in the local economy, focusing on our proximity to Melbourne and targeting day-trip visitors to hero destinations Walhalla, Noojee and Yarragon.

Community members are encouraged to explore the new Visit Baw Baw website and key attractions at

Follow the link to access the Economic Development Strategy 2018-2021.


Image: Visit Baw Baw's new-look website.


Image: Executive Manager Communications and Economic Development Mark Kestigian, Visit Baw Baw ambassador Bob Murphy and Mayor Cr Joe Gauci at the launch event.