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Vic coastal tourists urged to stay longer

AAP logoAAP 19/12/2016 Helen Velissaris

Busloads of tourists flock to the Twelve Apostles and the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, but sadly, their wallets don't get much of a work out while they're there.

On average, tourists stay less than 40 minutes along the 28km coastline and spend only 18 cents on average, says a spokesman for Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine in a release on Friday.

Hoping to get tourists to stay longer and spend more has been a popular topic of 2016, but a new app might give some tourists a bit of help in meeting some of the coast's feathered residents.

Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine will launch the app Birds of the Bay on Tuesday, hoping to give tourists simple notes on the bird wildlife around the coast and what to look out for as they wander the area.

TGGB executive director Roger Grant hopes the app will tap into the lucrative Chinese tourism market that has been booming in the region and get them to extend their trip away from the tourist traps.

Searching common birds like the yellow-billed spoonbill, the eastern rosella and the red-necked stint are easy, with people able to click on the photos of the birds they spot along their trip.

"It's all about trying to provide a reason that people can spend longer (in the area)" he told AAP.

"By spending longer, they can spend some additional dollars in the region as well."

He believes tourists aren't getting to enjoy the area or spend up at local business because they are bused in and bused out, usually for just one or two attractions.

The app can be downloaded at www.birdsofthebay.com.au.

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