The Victorian government will offer 120,000 travel vouchers worth $200 each as the southern state begins to reopen after its 112-day lockdown.
The vouchers will be eligible to those who spend at least $400 on accommodation, tours or attractions in regional Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews revealed on Wednesday.
"Whether it's a day trip with the family or a tour along our stunning coast, we're helping more people get out and enjoy the best Victoria has to offer," Andrews said.
"This funding will help tourism businesses bounce back from the challenges of this year."
Speaking ahead of next week’s state budget, Andrews said the government is working with tourism groups to finalise the details, but hopes to have the scheme in place by Christmas.
"We're hoping to have that up and running in just a few weeks' time.”
The initiative will cost $28 million and is part of a broader $465 million Victorian Tourism Recovery Package which aims to help regional businesses hit by devastating bushfires and a global pandemic.
The state budget will also include $149 million to build accommodation, improve tourist trails and encourage city-dwellers to visit regional Victoria and its culinary attractions.
State Minister for Tourism Martin Pakula said the infrastructure investment also means more jobs for Victorians, and lays the foundation for an economic recovery.
“There is a lot of pent up demand. Melburnians are really keen to get out to see regional Victoria,” he said.
"They want to travel. They want to eat the wonderful food. They want to drink the amazing wines. They want to get out and see the amazing sites.”
Tourism was worth $25.5 billion to the state economy in the year to June 2020, which represented a fall of 18 per cent year on year.
Within that, international tourism revenue fell by 22 per cent as total tourist numbers fell 14 per cent.
It comes after the NSW budget delivered vouchers worth $100 to adult residents, designed to encourage people to spend money on hospitality and entertainment businesses.
The Northern Territory announced a $200 travel voucher scheme in June while the Tasmanian government also rolled out a travel voucher scheme that was fully subscribed within 40 minutes.
Under Tasmania’s scheme, travellers received rebates of $100 to $150 a night for accommodation of up to two nights, along with $50 per person for tourism experiences.
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