Up to 120,000 vouchers worth AUD$200 each will be made available to Victorian residents to put towards accommodation, attractions and tours in regional Victoria as part of a major government boost to support jobs in the hospitality sector.
Unveiled this week in the state’s 2020/21 Budget, the vouchers will be eligible to be used on the proviso that the spend amount is matched up to $200 – or a total spend of $400. The government said the scheme will be up and running from next month and is aimed at boosting the state’s regional tourism operators during the busy summer months.
The AUD$28 million voucher initiative is part of a wider AUD$465 million ‘Victorian Tourism Recovery Package’ allocated by the government to help the sector in its recovery from a hard year which has included bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The package also includes funding for new accommodation including campgrounds, improved visitor infrastructure such as walking trails as well as focused marketing efforts to encourage visitors out into regional Victoria to enjoy what the various areas have to offer.
“This funding will help them tourism businesses bounce back from the challenges of this year – welcoming more visitors and employing more Victorians,” said Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews.
The move has been welcomed by Tourism Accommodation Australia, with its Victorian General Manager, Dougal Hollis, saying he greatly appreciated the assistance provided by the state government in response to its submission for targeted support.
“Hoteliers have been collaborating with their teams and crafting a range of unique experiences to surprise and delight guests as they are welcomed back,” Hollis said.
Further funding to come from the state budget includes the previously announced Regional Tourism Investment Fund of AUD$150 million, which will help to fund new food, wine, arts, culture and nature-based experiences and projects. An AUD$58 million marketing boost for Visit Victoria will help tourism businesses adapt to the new trading conditions and market the state both to intrastate travellers and around the country.