Regional travel vouchers snapped up, but more to come

The pandemic has hit the Victorian tourism industry hard, with many regional towns and businesses suffering under the lockdown restrictions.

“Tourism has done it hard this year, particularly with lockdowns and shutdowns that were essential to protecting public health and saving lives,” said Premier Daniel Andrews.

To help the state get back on its feet, Mr Andrews has announced a $465 million boost Victoria’s tourism industry.

“About $300 million of this package is directed towards infrastructure,” tourism minister Martin Pakula told Nine news. And $58 million will go to Market Victoria to promote the state’s attractions to travellers across the country. However, with the state’s beautiful scenery, wineries, wildlife and coastline, travellers may not need any further incentives to come and explore Victoria themselves.

The budget also includes the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme, which offers Victorians free travel vouchers to encourage them to explore the state. “If you spend $400, you will get $200. That means you can stay an extra night; it means you can have an even better experience,” Mr Andrews said.

The scheme offers a total of 120,000 vouchers aiming to allow Victorian travellers to extend their getaways.

When the first round of 40,000 vouchers was released on 11 December last year, the Business Victoria website crashed after being flooded with eager participants.

When the latest round of coupons was released, the website was at least able to stay live, however, all of the vouchers were snapped up in less than 20 minutes.

But if you’ve missed out on a voucher of your own, don’t be disheartened. The next round of vouchers will be made available at 10am on 30 March.

To be eligible for a coupon, you need to be a Victorian resident and spend a minimum of $400 on accommodation, tours or experiences in regional Victoria during the specified time periods. There is a strict one voucher per household policy.

“More people travelling in regional Victoria means more money over the counter for businesses that are recovering after a very difficult 2020, and more jobs for local workers,” said Mr Pakula.

Were you lucky enough to snap up one of these vouchers? Will you be online on 30 March trying to get your own? Where in Victoria would you choose to travel?

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Written by Liv Gardiner

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