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Business Victoria website crashes as $200 travel vouchers released

'It’s almost like no one thought it might actually be popular.'

The website offering the first round of $200 travel vouchers to Victorians has crashed for applicants moments after going live.

High demand was expected for the 40,000 vouchers when registration opened to Victorian households at 10am on Friday.

But many Twitter users said they were unable to load the state government website page and that it was showing an internal server error.

“It’s almost like no one thought it might actually be popular,” one Twitter user said.

Another said: “I’m trying to register for the $200 travel voucher and there’s no “apply now” button. I want to support Regional Victoria, please send help.”

Many said even after they got through to the website, there was no ‘Apply Now’ button.

Business Victoria responded to one of the tweets saying there was high demand for the vouchers.

“We are currently experiencing high demand on the website and as a consequence, the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme page is temporarily down,” they said.

“We are working to resolve this as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.”

Under the program, travellers will be reimbursed $200 if they spend at least $400 on accommodation, experiences or tours in regional areas of the state.

Tourism Minister Martin Pakula expects the scheme to be very popular, especially the first stage for travel between December 12 and January 22.

“I would expect demand to potentially outstrip supply, that’s been experienced in other parts of the country,” he said on Thursday ahead of the launch.

Tourism Minister Martin Pakula expects the scheme to be very popular, especially the first stage for travel between December 12 and January 22.
Tourism Minister Martin Pakula expects the scheme to be very popular, especially the first stage for travel between December 12 and January 22. Credit: JAMES ROSS/AAPIMAGE
How to apply for the $200 travel voucher

To access the vouchers, Victorians must visit business.vic.gov.au and register their details.

The lucky first 40,000 applicants will be confirmed via email.

For those that miss out, another 80,000 vouchers will be made available - plus any that are not used - in the second release on January 20 and third release on March 30.

Eligible destinations include the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and the Bellarine, while households can apply even if their travel has already been booked.

The $28 million travel voucher scheme is part of a $300 million tourism package announced in the state budget in November.

“If those $200 vouchers mean that people stay an extra night, maybe go to a local pub or restaurant, that’s all about wages and spending and investment.” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

Victorians are set to snap up the first release of $200 regional tourism travel vouchers offered by the state government.
Victorians are set to snap up the first release of $200 regional tourism travel vouchers offered by the state government. Credit: Getty

The program will kick off fresh from Victoria reaching 41 days without a new coronavirus case on Thursday, as the state welcomes more international travellers.

A total of 189 returned travellers were expected to touch down at Melbourne airport on Thursday, joining at least 405 international arrivals already quarantining since the state began accepting overseas flights again on Monday.

The program will kick off as Victoria on Friday reaches 42 days without a local coronavirus case.

Some 9760 Victorians were tested on Thursday.

The state is also continuing to welcome international travellers, with 189 touching down at Melbourne Airport on Thursday, joining at least 405 international arrivals already quarantining since the state began accepting overseas flights again on Monday.

- With AAP

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