Greater Shepparton City Council’s Visitor Experience Innovation Grants are now open, with funding of up to $5000 available for individual projects.
The Visitor Experience Innovations Grants were introduced as a follow on from Council’s Economic Response to COVID-19 Package and aim to assist businesses in Greater Shepparton’s Visitor Economy Industry to undertake initiatives and projects that will assist to improve the tourism offering in the region.
This is the second round of this overall program after the Round 1 Visitor Economy Recovery and Activation Grant Program saw 12 local businesses receive funding for projects in 2020.
A total grant pool of $65,000 is available for this round with businesses in the visitor economy including the following sectors eligible to apply: accommodation, passenger transport providers, event suppliers and contractors, tour companies, attractions, wellness tourism, farm gate experiences, retail who have a direct link to local produce and hospitality and boutique food production.
The program has been put in place to support businesses to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic with increased diversity and sustainability, encouraging more visitors to the region and delivering an improved experience for those who visit and reside in Greater Shepparton.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Councillor Kim O’Keeffe said these projects would help play a crucial role in our region’s Covid recovery.
“Although we have seen some slight turn around over the summer, recent events show the fight to slow the spread of Covid-19 is not over and this has seen a devastating loss for our community and visitors,” Cr O’Keeffe said.
“For our region to bounce back from this pandemic we need to invest in our local Visitor Economy and share our great local attractions and experiences with the rest of the state.
“These projects will boost our visitor economy and assist local businesses by enhancing the visitor experience and growing visitation, increasing the length of stay and economic stimulation in the region.”
Tourism Greater Shepparton President Ingrid Thomas said ‘COVID -19 has impacted significantly on tourism and hospitality operators across the Goulburn Valley, and recovery from the pandemic would take some time.
“These Visitor Experience and Innovation Grants will provide local businesses with encouragement and support to invest in themselves, to adapt, change or diversify their business in novel ways,” Ms Thomas said.
“These grants will improve business sustainability, and enrich the experience of visitors to our region. Tourism Greater Shepparton encourages all eligible businesses to apply, with a mentor available to assist businesses with their application.”
The grants opened on Monday the 22 February and will close at 5pm on Monday 19 April 2021.