Victorian Government to release $200 travel vouchers to help boost regional tourism
The Victorian Government is expecting the first 40,000 regional travel vouchers to be snapped up quickly when they are released online.Key points:
- The travel vouchers can be used if people purchase two or more nights accommodation in regional Victoria
- The first 40,000 vouchers will be available through the Business Victoria website from 10:00am on December 11
- Travel to the Mornington Peninsula and the Yarra Valley is included in the scheme
Under the $28 million scheme, the Government will provide 120,000 vouchers, valued at $200 each, in a bid to kickstart tourism spending to help regional Victoria rebound after the coronavirus lockdown.
The first 40,000 of the vouchers will be available from 10:00am on December 11 and can be used for travel between December 12 and January 22.
The vouchers will be redeemed after people travel to regional Victoria, and spend at least $400 on accommodation, experiences or tours.
Tourism and Major Events Minister Martin Pakula said he expected there to be very high demand for the vouchers.
"For this first tranche, I would expect demand to outstrip supply — that's been the experience in other parts of the country," he said.
"We've tried to be generous but 40,000 is the limit for the first tranche and each tranche."
"It's a perfect opportunity to enjoy an extra night's accommodation on the weekend getaway, or experience one of our many tours or attractions," Mr Pakula said.LIVE UPDATES: Read our blog for the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vouchers will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis through the Business Victoria website from 10:00am tomorrow.
The vouchers are limited to one per household, and travellers will be required to spend at least two nights in paid accommodation in regional Victoria.
People can apply for the vouchers even if they've already booked their accommodation.
Travel to the Mornington Peninsula and the Yarra Valley is eligible to be redeemed, even though parts of those areas were included in metropolitan Melbourne during the Stage 4 lockdown.Fears Melbourne's tourism sector may take longer to recover
The Victorian Tourism Industry Council's Felicia Mariani welcomed the release of the regional travel vouchers, but has raised concerns about the tourism recovery in Melbourne.
"There are 37,500 hotel rooms in the Greater Melbourne region and we're seeing occupancy levels at 25 and 26 per cent at a time when we really should be seeing 75 to 80 per cent occupancy," she said.
"A lot of that really hinges on our ability to attract visitors back from interstate to Melbourne, that is such an important part."
Ms Mariani said the uncertainty around arrangements for the Boxing Day Test and the Australian Open was having an impact on interstate travellers.
"Those major sporting events become huge drawcards for us in really pushing our summer season, and right now we need to get some answers on what is happening with those events."
Tourism Minister Martin Pakula said crowd restrictions for the Boxing Day Test would be revealed in the next 24 hours, and arrangements for the Australian Open were still being finalised.What you need to know about coronavirus: