The Victorian Government Is Set to Release Another 80,000 Regional Travel Vouchers
Designed to boost tourism across the state, the latest batch of $200 vouchers will be released "once it is safe to do so".
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, life in Melbourne has swung between two extremes. The city's residents have either been staying at home during lockdowns, or they're being encouraged to head out of the house to help support the state's tourism industry. At the moment, no one is going anywhere, with the current stay-at-home conditions in place until 11.59pm on Thursday, June 10 unless extended again. But, sometime in the future, the Victorian Government is set to entice Melburnians to enjoy a holiday thanks to another big batch of regional travel vouchers.
This'll be the fourth time that the State Government has given away $200 vouchers to folks travelling regionally, after initially announcing the scheme in November 2020 as part of the $465 million Victorian Tourism Recovery Package. When the first two rounds of vouchers became available, they were snapped up quickly — so much so that another 30,000 were released after the first set to meet demand. The third round also unsurprisingly proved popular, as did a separate batch just for metropolitan Melbourne stays.
This time, a whopping 80,000 vouchers will be made available, all worth $200 each and all for use in regional areas. But just when you'll be able to try to nab one hasn't yet been revealed. Instead, the government has advised that the "vouchers will encourage Victorians to support attractions and accommodation providers across the state once it is safe to do so" — and that "a release date for the vouchers and travel windows will be advised in due course."
Forming part of a new $32.2 million Regional Tourism Support Package, the vouchers once again have two obvious aims: enticing Victorian residents to go venturing throughout the state, and helping support regional pubs, hotels, wineries and small businesses. Ten thousand vouchers in this batch stem from new funding, with the other 70,000 coming from vouchers that were initially allocated in previous rounds, but weren't actually claimed.
Although exactly where the new vouchers will be able to be spent hasn't been confirmed, you'll be able to use them on accommodation, tourism attractions and tours in regional Victoria — which, if the the last rounds are a guide, includes 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, for instance. That said, 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 always a few 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 past conditions 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.
The new $32.2 million Regional Tourism Support Package will also support accommodation, attraction and experience operators in other ways, including $4,500 grant top-ups per business. And, it'll offer funds of up to $15,000 for alpine operators so that they can offer a COVID-safe ski season.
Just when the Victorian Government's new batch of 80,000 $200 travel vouchers will become available hasn't yet been announced, but you can keep an eye on the Regional Tourism Support Package website in the interim.
Top image: Mark Watson via Visit Victoria.
Published on June 07, 2021 by Sarah Ward