The Victorian Government's Third Batch of Regional Travel Vouchers Goes Up for Grabs This Week
A final batch of 50,000 vouchers will be available in this round.
After a year that saw Victorians spend most of their time staring at their own four walls, giving out vouchers for travel was always going to be a popular plan. So, when the State Government announced its plan to give away $200 vouchers to folks travelling regionally as part of a $465 million Victorian Tourism Recovery Package, it earned plenty of attention. And, when the first two rounds of those vouchers became available, they were snapped up quickly — so much so that another 30,000 were released after the first set to meet demand, and a new and separate batch for metropolitan Melbourne stays was also distributed.
Now, as was always on the cards, the third round of $200 vouchers for regional travel is being handed out to encourage everyone to take a getaway within the state. As previously announced, the next batch will become available at 10am AEDT on Tuesday, March 30, with 50,000 available — covering travel between Tuesday, April 6–Monday, May 31.
There have been two obvious aims behind the scheme overall: enticing Victorian residents to go venturing throughout the state, and helping support regional pubs, hotels, wineries and small businesses. 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 online. 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.
If you're wondering how the vouchers have been used so far, they've primarily gone towards trips to the Mornington Peninsula, Bass Coast, Surf Coast, East Gippsland and Colac-Otway shires, the government has advised. Folks visiting regional Victoria have spent an estimated $85 million, averaging at around $1700 per trip — and staying an average of five nights.
You can apply for the final round of 50,000 $200 travel vouchers from 10am AEDT on Tuesday, March 30 at business.vic.gov.au/travelvouchers.
Top image: The Great Ocean Road, Shipwreck Coast, by Visit Victoria/Robert Blackburn.
Published on March 28, 2021 by Sarah Ward