Tourism businesses will benefit from a new round of the Territory Labor Governments Visitor Experience Enhancement Program (VEEP), with a further $3 million available in grant funding under the second Turbocharging Tourism stimulus.
Word of mouth is becoming an increasingly powerful marketing tool; recommendations from family, friends and through social media are reported to be up to eight times more powerful than advertising when it comes to encouraging people to travel to a destination.
The VEEP program provides support to local tourism operators to enhance their visitor offerings to attract positive online reviews and recommendations.
Priority will be given to projects that demonstrate the greatest need for visitor enhancement, such as through customer feedback. Both for-profit and not-for-profit organisations can apply. For the first time, Local Governments can also apply. Applicants are required to provide matched funding.
As well as stimulating private investment, VEEP has flow-on benefits for other industry sectors, with applicants required to use local suppliers. The initial investment of $3 million from the Territory Government for the first VEEP unlocked an additional $11.6 million in private investment across the Territory.
The grants can be used for a wide range of projects. Previous grants have been awarded for projects including new air-conditioning, a kitchen upgrade, improved lighting, solar projects for tourism enterprises and better outdoor areas.
VEEP grants complement the business-focused grants offered and administered by the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation and applications under this program will be considered with reference to other NT Government funding applicants may have accessed or qualified for.
VEEP Round 3 opens on 1 July and closes on 1 October 2019.