One month into the inaugural Tourism Voucher scheme, residents have redeemed over 17,400 vouchers generating $7.09 million in bookings, providing a strong boost for the tourism and hospitality sectors and securing jobs for Territorians.
The $5.2 million Territory Labor Government scheme aimed at getting residents out exploring their backyard and supporting local businesses has seen Territorians booking hotels and experiences across the Territory, with Kakadu, Nitmiluk and Kings Canyon among the most population destinations.
Popular activities have included hot air ballooning, fishing charters and harbour cruises.
Vouchers not redeemed within 30 days have gone back into the funding pool and are now being released to Territorians on the waiting list on a staggered basis.
Last week, the Government announced a further $10 million for two more rounds of the voucher scheme to encourage locals to continue getting out and supporting local business over the coming low season. Round 2 opens on 1 November 2020 and Round 3 on 1 February 2021.
As with the first round, Territorians will be able to access a $200 voucher to spend on a bookable product when they spend $200 of their own money.
The voucher will be doubled to $400 for people travelling further than 500km from their home, to encourage Territorians to consider taking an extended adventure.
Top Enders will particularly be encouraged to take a road trip to Central Australia or get out to Arnhem Land.
Tourism NT will work closely with industry to roll out the new rounds of the scheme.
Quote from Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Lauren Moss:
“We remain focused on keeping Territorians safe and that means keeping our borders secure, but we recognise that this is continuing to have a massive impact on our tourism and hospitality businesses and on tourism jobs.
“Encouraging locals to get out and become a tourist in their own backyard is one of the ways the Territory Government is supporting operators to get through this time.
“It’s great to see Territorians embracing the scheme, booking local trips and experiences and putting money into the pockets of our tourism operators and hospitality businesses.
“There has never been a better time to explore our backyard and I encourage locals to get ready for Rounds 2 and 3 of the successful tourism voucher scheme.”
Quote from General Manager, Darwin Harbour Cruises, Rachel Beaumont Smith:
“The Territory Tourism Voucher scheme has given locals incentive to spend and tour operators much needed support.
“Additional cruise bookings result in us employing more crew, purchasing stock from local suppliers and putting money directly back into the Darwin economy.
“It will be a long road for all of us in tourism and unless we continue to be supported there is a real risk of losing the diversity of our tourism industry because of this pandemic.”