As the season warms, and the landscape blooms, the rolling hills and coastal towns of Gippsland have traditionally enticed visitors from near and far.

This season though is different. Never has it been more important to embrace the hospitality of our region.

Our local wineries, cafés, pubs and restaurants offer up the best of our local farmer’s produce, so this season make sure you get out and enjoy what we have right here in our own backyard.

Having spent the winter in isolation, the need for contact with friends, family and our local community is real and the freedom to drive through the hills to the seaside is now, more appreciated than ever.

Stop off in the small town cafés for afternoon tea, visit our wineries nestled on the hillsides, stop in at our pubs and restaurants for lunch or book a stay in one of our regional towns.

The dollars you hand over may just make the difference to the job security of a young mother doing a bit of waitressing, a teenager in their first part-time job or the local chef who has been sustained by JobKeeper for months now.

If you truly want to do something to benefit our region and give back, get out there and embrace the place you live.

Book a stay with a local tourist operator, buy gifts from the local artists, treat yourself to a take-away meal, or eat in at one of the hundreds of eateries from the mountains to the coast.

Enjoy our region this summer.

That is just as I see it.