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Regional tourism operators have been severely impacted by the 2019/20 summer bushfires and the more recent coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions. The Regional Travel Voucher Scheme (the ”Scheme”) is designed to help drive visitation to regional Victoria over the first half of 2021 to support businesses and communities to recover.
The Scheme encourages Victorian residents to visit regional Victoria, stay overnight and take part in the many experiences on offer across the State. The Scheme’s primary aim is to support tourism businesses and the regional economy. It will do so by providing an incentive for visitors to travel and spend money in regional Victoria through a $200 travel voucher that can be used to reimburse the cost of eligible tourism activities incurred during one of the eligible travel periods between December 2020 and July 2021.
Eligible travel period
Claim period and cutoff date
11 December 2020, 10.00am
12 December 2020 to 22 January 2021
4 January 2021 to 5 February 2021
14 December 2020, 12.00pm
12 December 2020 to 22 January 2021
4 January 2021 to 5 February 2021
20 January 2021, 10.00am
27 January 2021 to 1 April 2021
11 March 2021 to 15 April 2021
30 March 2021, 10.00am
6 April 2021 to 11 July 2021
10 May 2021 to 18 July 2021
To receive a Regional Travel Voucher you must meet the following eligibility criteria.
You must be:
- a Victorian resident; and
- at least 18 years of age.
Your regional visit must:
- be in a Victorian regional area as listed. These areas include the Yarra Valley, Dandenong Ranges, Mornington Peninsula and the Victorian alpine ski resorts;
- be overnight in paid accommodation in regional Victoria for a minimum of two nights2, and
- take place within an Eligible Travel Period (see below).
To claim a $200 reimbursement you must:
- demonstrate expenditure of at least $400 across one or more of the following categories3:
paid accommodation, which means serviced apartments, backpacker and hostels, bed and breakfasts, cabins or caravans in holiday parks, caravan and camping site fees, cottages, farm stays, private holiday rentals, houseboats, motels, hotels, resorts, retreats and lodges
paid tours and experiences, which means tour operators that offer regularly organised tours with a leisure-tourism focus, organised by experienced guides. These may include a personal host and/or commentary. For example, a boat cruise, guided walk, bus tour, air tour, agri-tourism, food and wine tour, sport tour, outdoor and adventure tour
entry fees to regional attractions, which means places/areas of interest that offer a distinct visitor experience to the leisure tourist such as museums, water parks, local attractions, theme parks etc. (“Eligible Expenses”).
ensure Eligible Expenses relate to a trip undertaken during an Eligible Travel Period.
2 If travel was already underway when restrictions were imposed, the requirement for minimum two-night stay will be waived. Vouchers will be honoured for a one-night stay.
3 If travel was already underway when restrictions were imposed, voucher holders will not be required to demonstrate that they have expended at least $400 across one or more of the eligible expenditure categories. In this instance, voucher holders are only required to demonstrate eligible expenditure incurred to the time the ‘circuit breaker actions’ were introduced.
Eligible regional areas
Eligible Victorian regional areas are:
- Alpine Shire Council
- Ararat Rural City Council
- Ballarat City Council
- Bass Coast Shire Council
- Baw Baw Shire Council
- Benalla Rural City Council
- Buloke Shire Council
- Campaspe Shire Council
- Cardinia Shire Council
- Central Goldfields Shire Council
- Colac-Otway Shire Council
- Corangamite Shire Council
- East Gippsland Shire Council
- Falls Creek Alpine resort
- Frankston City Council
- French Island
- Gabo island
- Gannawarra Shire Council
- Glenelg Shire Council
- Golden Plains Shire Council
- Greater Bendigo City Council
- Greater Geelong City Council
- Greater Shepparton City Council
- Hepburn Shire Council
- Hindmarsh Shire Council
- Horsham Rural City Council
- Indigo Shire Council
- Lady Julia Percy island
- Lake Mountain Alpine Resort
- Latrobe City Council
- Loddon Shire Council
- Macedon Ranges Shire Council
- Mansfield Shire Council
- Mildura Rural City Council
- Mitchell Shire Council
- Moira Shire Council
- Moorabool Shire Council
- Mornington Peninsula Shire Council
- Mount Alexander Shire Council
- Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort
- Mount Buller Alpine Resort
- Mount Hotham Alpine Resort
- Mount Stirling Alpine Resort
- Moyne Shire Council
- Murrindindi Shire Council
- Nillumbik Shire Council
- Northern Grampians Shire Council
- Pyrenees Shire Council
- Queenscliffe Borough
- South Gippsland Shire Council
- Southern Grampians Shire Council
- Strathbogie Shire Council
- Surf Coast Shire Council
- Swan Hill Rural City Council
- Towong Shire Council
- Wangaratta Rural City Council
- Warrnambool City Council
- Wellington Shire Council
- West Wimmera Shire Council
- Wodonga City Council
- Yarra Ranges Shire Council
- Yarriambiack Shire Council
Eligible travel periods
The vouchers are available in rounds. Travel must be undertaken within the eligible travel period for each round as detailed in the table below.
|Round||Commencement date||End date|
|#1||12 December 2020||22 January 2021|
|#2||27 January 2021||1 April 2021|
|#3||6 April 2021||11 July 2021|
Any unclaimed vouchers will expire at the end of the round in which it was issued, with all unclaimed vouchers being made available in any planned subsequent rounds (where possible).
Expenses that are not eligible expenses (as defined above) are considered ineligible expenses. A non-exhaustive list of examples of ineligible expenses includes:
- alcohol (except if alcohol is included in wine/brewery/distillery tasting type tour but excludes any alcohol purchased and consumed outside of the experience)
- food and drinks except where packaged with an Eligible Expense such as a winery tour
- personal items such as clothing and accessories
- transport costs (rental vehicles, train and bus tickets).
Funding of $200 per household is available as a reimbursement if more than $400 is spent in regional Victoria on eligible expenses, during the relevant Eligible Travel Periods.
The Vouchers are available on a first-come-first-served basis.
How the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme works
Conditions of applying
- Only one Voucher can be claimed per household, defined by the primary residential address of the applicant as shown on their Victorian Drivers licence (or other form of approved identification).
- The Regional Travel Voucher Register works on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis and the Regional Travel Voucher Register will be closed once all places have been filled for that particular round.
- Any unclaimed vouchers will expire at the end of the round of issue, with all unclaimed vouchers being made available in subsequent rounds.
- Applicants may only redeem one Voucher across all rounds. If an Applicant relinquishes their Voucher, they may apply again in future rounds.
- The Voucher is non-transferable.
- Applicants must certify on their registration form that they meet the eligibility criteria and they have not supplied false or misleading information.
- All information and documents requested must be submitted to the Department’s satisfaction for a registration to be deemed eligible.
- Applicants understand that the particulars of their registration will be checked as part of the eligibility assessment and claim process and their registration may be declined and not proceed based on these checks.
- Applicants consent to the Department providing information to other Victorian Government departments to enable the assessment of their registration.
- Should you elect, by ticking the appropriate box in the registration form to receive information on travel experience opportunities, the Department will share your information with Visit Victoria.
- Any personal information collected, held, managed, used, disclosed or transferred will be held in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and other applicable laws.
- Applicants must provide their own Australian bank account details for payment should their registration be successful.
- Successful Applicants will be asked to undertake a short survey to evaluate their travel experience and Scheme if requested. These responses may be used for promotional and evaluation purposes, subject to the consent of the Applicant.
- Any information or documents provided by the Applicants may be subject to audit by the Victorian Government or its representatives and if requested, Applicants may be required to produce further evidence.
- If any information in the registration is found to be false or misleading, any amounts paid to an applicant pursuant to a Voucher, will be repayable on demand.
- The Department may at any time, remove an applicant from the Victorian Regional Travel Voucher Register, revoke an invitation to submit a Claim and/or cancel a Voucher, if in the Department’s opinion association with the applicant may bring the Department, a Minister or the State of Victoria into disrepute.
- The Department may at any time, and at its absolute discretion (but on giving reasonable notice), choose to amend the Eligible Travel Period for individual rounds. This may be required due to change in travel restrictions applicable to Regional Victoria. If the Eligible Travel Period is changed, applicants will need to change their travel plans so that their travel falls under the revised Eligible Travel Period.
Documentation and information requirements
The following documents and information are required to support a Voucher registration and claim:
Register for a voucher
At least one of the following:
- Victorian driver's licence
- Victorian Proof of Age Card, or
- Victorian Seniors Card.
The Department may choose to accept other forms of identification at its discretion.
Redeem your voucher
- Tax invoices and/or receipts to a value over $400 as evidence of expenditure on Eligible Expenses4
- The details of your trip including the accommodation and/or the tourist attractions you visited.
4 If travel was already underway when restrictions were imposed, voucher holders will not be required to demonstrate that they have expended at least $400 across one or more of the eligible expenditure categories. In this instance, voucher holders are only required to demonstrate eligible expenditure incurred to the time the ‘circuit breaker actions’ were introduced.
How to register for a voucher
Right of amendment
The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions reserves the right to amend these guidelines and registration terms in its sole and absolute discretion, including to amend the dates for which any Voucher can be used and/or to close the Regional Travel Voucher Register.
Confidentiality and privacy of information
In order to assess your registration for the Regional Travel Voucher, the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions is collecting personal information from you to assess your eligibility for a travel voucher, to administer the Scheme, and to contact you about your registration and claim.
Information collected in the registration form will be used by the Department for the purposes of assessment of registrations, Scheme administration and Scheme review.
In the assessment of your registration, it may be necessary to share your personal information with State Government Departments, in order to confirm you are a resident of Victoria.
If you have indicated that you are interested in being on the mailing list for marketing campaigns from Visit Victoria Limited, your personal information will be shared with Visit Victoria Limited.
Any personal information collected, held, managed, used, disclosed or transferred will be held in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and other applicable laws.
You can gain access to personal information (as defined in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014) which the Department holds about you in certain circumstances specified by legislation.
Regional Travel Voucher Scheme
Vouchers worth $200 will be available to reimburse certain Victorian regional travel expenses under this $28 million scheme.
Reviewed 24 June 2021