On 6 June the Victorian Government announced a $32.2 million Regional Tourism Support Package that will directly assist businesses, including accommodation providers, attractions and experiences, as they manage the impact of recent restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus.
This latest investment builds on the $460 million in business support in response to restrictions previously announced on 27 May 2021.
The Regional Tourism Support Package includes three initiatives to support tourism businesses:
- $16 million to fund 80,000 travel vouchers valued at $200 each, building on the success of the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme to encourage Victorians to support regional tourism operators.
- $11.8 million for a Business Costs Assistance Program Tourism Supplement to provide eligible tourism businesses – accommodation, attractions and tourism operators – up to $4,500 in additional support.
- A $4.4 million Alpine Support Program providing businesses in the alpine resorts and Dinner Plain with up to $15,000 grants. Off-mountain alpine related businesses such as equipment hire, transport companies and tour providers may be eligible for $5,000.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Councillor Kim O’Keeffe welcomed this much-needed support for Greater Shepparton businesses: “We welcome incentives that support the local economy and address the significant financial impact this pandemic has had, particularly in the retail, hospitality and tourism sector. Hopefully these motivations will give our region a much needed boost to attract increased visitation and we welcome continued Government support as we try to rebuild from the difficult economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The included allocation of $16 million in travel vouchers builds on the success of the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme that saw eager-to-travel Victorians snap up 160,000 vouchers in just minutes. More than 88,000 regional vouchers have been claimed so far, with those travellers injecting an estimated $130 million into local economies.
Each voucher gives the recipient the right to claim a reimbursement of $200 if they have spent at least $400 on accommodation, experiences, tours or attractions for a minimum 2 nights in paid accommodation in regional Victoria, the Yarra and Dandenong Ranges or the Mornington Peninsula.
Information on how Victorians can apply for and use the vouchers will be available in due course.