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Guidelines for the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme

Guidelines for the Victorian Government’s Regional Travel Voucher Scheme.

You can download the guidelines or read them below:

Scheme summary

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.

For great travel ideas and inspiration, please visit https://www.visitvictoria.com.

Key dates

Round

Registrations open

Eligible travel period

Claim period and cutoff date

Round 1A

 

11 December 2020, 10.00am

12 December 2020 to 22 January 2021

4 January 2021 to 5 February 2021

Round 1B

 

14 December 2020, 12.00pm

12 December 2020 to 22 January 2021

4 January 2021 to 5 February 2021

Round 2

20 January 2021, 10.00am

27 January 2021 to 1 April 2021

11 March 2021 to 15 April 2021

Round 31

30 March 2021, 10.00am

6 April 2021 to 11 July 2021

10 May 2021 to 18 July 2021

1 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. 

Eligibility criteria

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).

Ineligible expenses

Expenses that are not eligible expenses (as defined above) are considered ineligible expenses. A non-exhaustive list of examples of ineligible expenses includes:

  • gaming
  • alcohol (except if alcohol is included in wine/brewery/distillery tasting type tour but excludes any alcohol purchased and consumed outside of the experience)
  • fuel
  • food and drinks except where packaged with an Eligible Expense such as a winery tour
  • groceries
  • personal items such as clothing and accessories
  • transport costs (rental vehicles, train and bus tickets).

Available funding

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

Process Key details

Register for a Voucher

Round 1: from 11 December 2020

Round 2: from 20 January 2021

Round 3: from 30 March 2021

Victorian residents apply to be registered to receive a Regional Travel Voucher.

You will receive a pop-up acknowledgement at the time of registration. It is recommended that you keep a record of your registration number.

Your registration is acknowledged

Within 24 hours, you will receive an email acknowledging your registration

There will be a processing period of approximately 7 business days after your registration has been received to confirm your eligibility.

If you are confident of your eligibility, you can book your travel and travel can commence during the relevant Eligible Travel Period.

Please note that if it is determined you are ineligible for this program, you will not receive a $200 payment.

Your registration is confirmed

Your eligibility is confirmed within 7 business days and you will be notified by email that you are on the Regional Travel Voucher Register.

All payments remain subject to final eligibility checks.

You can now take your trip

If you are on the Regional Travel Voucher Register you can now undertake your visit to regional Victoria and spend at least $400 on eligible expenses.

You can now book and take your trip during the Eligible Travel Period:

  • Round 1: you can undertake your trip from 12 December 2020 to 22 January 2021;
  • Round 2: you can travel between 27 January 2021 to 1 April 2021; and
  • Round 3: you can travel between 6 April and 11 July 2021.

You can redeem your voucher

Between:

  • Round 1: 4 January 2021 and 5 February 2021
  • Round 2: 11 March 2021 and 15 April 2021
  • Round 3: 10 May 2021 and 18 July

During the claim period, you can now apply for reimbursement by making a claim.

The claim period will be open for approximately five weeks for each round.

You will be sent a link during the Eligible Travel Period to enable you to make your claim after you have undertaken your trip during the relevant Eligible Travel Period.

Using the link we send you, you can upload evidence of eligible expenditure from your trip. Please note that you will need to provide tax invoices and/or receipts for a value of at least $400 of Eligible Expenses.

If your travel plans were impacted by the introduction of ‘circuit breaker actions’, you should contact the Business Victoria Hotline on 13 22 15 for further advice about how to redeem your voucher or seek an extension to your travel period.

Note that we will also ask you at this point if you still intend to take your trip (if you have not yet travelled) or if you choose to relinquish your voucher. If you choose to relinquish your voucher, you will be able to reapply for a voucher in any subsequent rounds.

The last day you can redeem your travel voucher claim is:

  • Round 1: 5 February 2021 (now closed).
  • Round 2: 15 April 2021 (now closed).
  • Round 3: 18 July 2021.

Funds will be sent to your nominated bank account

  • Round 1: Between 11 January 2021 and 12 February 2021
  • Round 2: Between 18 March 2021 and 22 April 2021
  • Round 3: Between 17 May 2021 and 1 August 2021

The evidence submitted is checked and your claim is processed.

These dates are approximate only.

Payments will be made weekly. We will endeavour to make payments within 10 business days of your claim.

Payments are only made during the payment periods.

You will receive $200 into your nominated Australian bank account.

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

Register for a voucher via the Apply now button on the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme page.

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.

The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, is committed to protecting the privacy of personal information. The Department’s Privacy Policy can be found online at https://djpr.vic.gov.au/privacy

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.

Enquiries about access to information should be directed to the Department’s Privacy Unit by emailing privacy@ecodev.vic.gov.au.

Reviewed 24 June 2021

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