The Victorian Government's Second Batch of Regional Travel Vouchers Goes Up for Grabs Today
After making 70,000 vouchers available in December 2020, an additional 40,000 will be available in this round.
Victorians, it's holiday time. After spending so much of 2020 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.
The move was first announced back in mid-November — as part of a $465 million Victorian Tourism Recovery Package — and, in December, 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 were unveiled. Then, the first round of 40,000 vouchers was made available, and proved so popular that another 30,000 were released to meet demand (and make up for the fact that the Business Victoria voucher registration page had to go offline for extended periods because so many folks were trying to access it).
The Victorian Government has revealed that the initial vouchers were primarily used for trips to Mornington Peninsula, Bass Coast, East Gippsland, the Surf Coast and High Country — but the scheme was always planned to be a multi-round affair. So, as previously announced, the next batch will become available today, Wednesday, January 20. You'll need to head online at 10am AEDT to nab one, with 40,000 available — covering travel between January 27–April 1.
There are two obvious aims to the scheme overall: enticing Victorian residents to go venturing throughout the state, and helping support regional pubs, hotels, wineries and small businesses. If you don't get one this time, the final round of vouchers will be handed out on Tuesday, March 30, for travel between April 6–May 31.
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 second round of 40,000 $200 travel vouchers from 10am on Wednesday, January 20 at business.vic.gov.au/travelvouchers. The final round will open on Tuesday, March 30.
Top image: The Rail Trail, Visit Victoria/Josie Withers.
Published on January 20, 2021 by Sarah Ward