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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 June 2021.  A fourth round (if required) may be opened for any unclaimed vouchers.
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 in the Appendix to these Guidelines. These areas also include the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and the Victorian alpine ski resorts;
- be overnight in paid accommodation in regional Victoria for a minimum of two nights, 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 categories:
- 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 related to a trip undertaken during an eligible travel period.
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||31 May 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.
There are approximately 150,000 vouchers available. The Vouchers are available on a first-come-first-served basis.
How the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme works
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 are asked to give a brief outline of your planned visit to regional Victoria, as well as attach evidence of your Victorian residency and age, usually your driver's licence.
Note that if your planned travel changes, you can still redeem your voucher for travel undertaken in the Eligible Travel Period.
Your registration is acknowledged
Within 24 hours, you will receive an email acknowledging your registration. This will be issued subject to final eligibility checks.
Places are given on a first-come-first-served with.at least 40,000 vouchers in each Round.
There will be a processing period of approximately 5 business days after your registration has been received to confirm your eligibility.
If you are confident with your eligibility, you can book your travel and travel can commence during the relevant Eligible Travel Period.
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 31 May 2020.
You can redeem your voucher
Round 1: 4 January 2021 and 5 February 2021
Round 2: 11 March 2021 and 15 April 2021
Round 3: 10 May 2021 and 14 June 2021
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.
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.
Using the link we send you, you can upload the 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 towards Eligible Expenses.
The last day you can redeem your Travel Voucher claim is:
Round 1 – 5 February 2021
Round 2 – 15 April 2021
Round 3 – 14 June 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 21 June 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 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 driver's 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 apply for one Voucher across all 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.
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
Redeem your voucher
Invoices and/or receipts to a value over $400 as evidence of expenditure on Eligible Expenses
Register for a voucher
An outline of your planned tourism trip, including location and indicative travel dates.
Redeem your voucher
The details of your trip including the accommodation and/or the tourist attractions you visited, submitted as part of your Claim.
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.
Appendix – Eligible regional areas
- 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
- Central Goldfields Shire Council
- Colac-Otway Shire Council
- Corangamite Shire Council
- East Gippsland Shire Council
- Falls Creek Alpine resort
- 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
Reviewed 14 December 2020