The Victorian Government Is Releasing 30,000 More Regional Travel Vouchers Due to Demand
The first round proved so popular that the Business Victoria voucher registration page went offline for extended periods, so the scheme has been extended.
Victorians, it's holiday time. After a year largely spent staring at your own four walls, you probably don't need much motivation to head out of town, but the State Government is giving you some anyway. In an effort to encourage everyone to take a getaway within the state, it's handing out $200 vouchers for regional travel.
This isn't new news. The move was first announced back in mid-November — as part of a $465 million Victorian Tourism Recovery Package — and this past week, on Thursday, December 10, the exact details of what you can spend the money on, when you can spend it and exactly how you can get your hands on the vouchers have been unveiled. Also, on Friday, December 11, the first batch of 40,000 vouchers was made available.
To the surprise of no one, that initial release proved mighty popular. In fact, there was such heavy demand for the initiative that, when the first vouchers were put up for grabs, there were long delays and the Business Victoria voucher registration page had to go offline for extended periods. All 40,000 vouchers released were still snapped up across the day, though, but not without plenty of frustration for plenty of folks.
So, in response, the Victorian Government has announced that it is extending the scheme and adding another 30,000 vouchers. They're in addition to the 120,000 already planned — those already given out, plus two other 40,000 batches — and will be available from midday on Monday, December 14 for trips up until January 22.
The scheme has two obvious aims: enticing Victorian residents to go venturing throughout the state, and helping support regional pubs, hotels, wineries and small businesses. As for when the rest of the vouchers will be handed out, there'll be two more rounds on Wednesday, January 20 and Tuesday, March 30 — for travel between January 27–April 1 and April 6–May 31, respectively.
The vouchers can be spent on accommodation, tourism attractions and tours in regional Victoria, the Yarra Ranges and the Mornington Peninsula. But, there's a hefty list of things you can't spend them on, including gaming, alcohol, fuel, food and drinks (unless it's part of a winery tour, for example), groceries, personal items (such as clothing) and transport (such as rental cars and public transport).
So, you can't just use the voucher to road trip to a pub, but you can use it to book accommodation at the pub, then spend your own money on food and drinks — which will still make your trip away significantly cheaper.
There are some additional caveats, too: the vouchers are limited to one per household (not per person) across the entire scheme; you must first provide evidence of spending $400 on accommodation, attractions or tours before getting your $200; and you must pay for a minimum of two nights accommodation in regional Victoria. Which means, at most, half of your expenses will be covered — but, that's $200 that you won't have to fork out yourself.
Yes, it's a little complicated — but the Vic Government has broken it down in more detail over here. It has also given some more examples of what you can use the vouchers on, including holiday parks, camping sites, cottages, farm stays, private holiday rentals, houseboats (yes, houseboats), winery tours, adventure tours and entry fees to regional attractions, such as. museums, water parks and adventure parks.
You can apply for the bonus round of 30,000 $200 travel vouchers from midday on Monday, December 14 at business.vic.gov.au/travelvouchers. Subsequent rounds will open on Wednesday, January 20 and on Tuesday, March 30.
Top image: Peninsula Hot Springs via Visit Victoria
Published on December 12, 2020 by Sarah Ward