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Melbourne Travel Voucher Scheme FAQs

Questions and answers related to the Victorian Government’s Melbourne Travel Voucher Scheme.

What is the Melbourne Travel Voucher Scheme?

Based on the success of the Victorian Government’s Regional Travel Voucher Scheme supporting travel to regional Victoria, we have extended the scheme to support tourism operators across metropolitan Melbourne.

With Melbourne-based tourism operators still impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Melbourne Travel Voucher Scheme is designed to drive visits to metropolitan Melbourne to support businesses.

Victorians are encouraged to stay overnight in eligible metropolitan Melbourne and experience everything it has to offer. The scheme provides eligible Victorians with $200 to help cover the cost of accommodation, attractions or tours in metropolitan Melbourne during the eligible travel period.

Who is eligible to apply for the vouchers? 

Victorian residents over the age of 18 are eligible to apply. Each household is limited to one voucher.

Each voucher gives the voucher holder the right to claim a reimbursement of $200 if they have spent at least $400 on a minimum two nights paid accommodation, plus other eligible expenses including tours, experiences or entry fees. Even if the applicant spends more than $400 on tourism in Melbourne, they are only entitled to a $200 reimbursement.

Am I eligible for a Melbourne Travel Voucher if I have received a Regional Travel Voucher?

Yes. You are eligible to receive one voucher from each scheme.

When will the Melbourne Travel Voucher Scheme open?

40,000 vouchers will be released on 12 March 2021.

Over what period of time can travel take place?

The key dates for this scheme are set out as follows:

Registrations open Eligible travel period Claim period and cut-off date
10am, 12 March 2021 19 March 2021 to 16 May 2021 26 April 2021 to 30 May 2021

How many Melbourne Travel Vouchers are available?

40,000 vouchers are available. The vouchers are available on a first-come-first-served basis until all vouchers have been issued. 

How does the Melbourne Travel Voucher Scheme work?

Registration and redemption of vouchers is a simple process:

  • applicants register for a voucher online
  • applicants will receive an email within 24 hours confirming their registration has been successful for that round
  • your eligibility is confirmed within 10 business days by email
  • voucher recipients take their trip to Melbourne during the eligible travel period
  • following their trip, recipients will be able to redeem their voucher by providing invoices and receipts as evidence of eligible expenditure of $400 or more
  • upon confirmation of eligible expenditure, voucher funds of $200 are transferred to the recipient’s nominated Australian bank account
  • all payments remain subject to final eligibility checks.

How the Melbourne Travel Voucher Scheme works

Process Key details

Register for a voucher on 12 March 2021.

Victorian residents apply to be registered to receive a 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 10 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 then travel can commence during the 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 10 business days and you will be notified by email that you are on the Melbourne Travel Voucher Register.

All payments remain subject to final eligibility checks.

You can now take your trip.

If you are on the Melbourne Travel Voucher Register you can now undertake your visit to Melbourne and spend at least $400 on Eligible Expenses.

You can now book and take your trip during the Eligible Travel Period between 19 March 2021 and 16 May 2021 inclusive. 

You can redeem your voucher between
26 April 2021 and 30 May 2021.

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

The claim period will be open for approximately 5 weeks.

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

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

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. 

The last day you can redeem your Travel Voucher claim is 30 May 2021.

Funds will be sent to your nominated bank account between 26 April 2021 and 30 May 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 period.

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

Where can the Melbourne Travel Vouchers be spent?

The vouchers can be spent in any of the 26 Local Government Areas in metropolitan Melbourne. This excludes areas already covered by the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme the Yarra Valley, Dandenong Ranges, Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula areas.

Full list of eligible LGAs

  1. City of Melbourne
  2. City of Port Phillip
  3. City of Stonnington
  4. City of Yarra
  5. City of Banyule
  6. City of Bayside
  7. City of Boroondara
  8. City of Darebin
  9. City of Glen Eira
  10. City of Hobsons Bay
  11. City of Kingston
  12. City of Manningham
  13. City of Maribyrnong
  14. City of Monash
  15. City of Moonee Valley
  16. City of Moreland
  17. City of Whitehorse
  18. City of Brimbank
  19. City of Casey
  20. City of Greater Dandenong
  21. City of Hume
  22. City of Knox
  23. City of Maroondah
  24. City of Melton
  25. City of Whittlesea
  26. City of Wyndham

Can I spend my voucher on two separate accommodation and activity charges in two separate LGAs?

Yes, if the minimum two nights paid accommodation is in an eligible metropolitan Melbourne local government area and relevant receipts are provided, you can spend money across multiple locations.

What can the vouchers be spent on?

To be eligible for redemption, the following criteria must be met:

  • Recipients must stay a minimum of 2 nights’ paid accommodation in greater Melbourne.
  • Travel must be undertaken within the 26 Local Government Areas in metropolitan Melbourne
  • Applicants must provide evidence they have spent at least $400 on a minimum two nights' paid accommodation, plus other eligible expenses including tours, experiences or entry fees to attractions:
    • minimum two nights' paid accommodation, which means serviced apartments, backpackers and hostels, bed and breakfasts, cabins or caravans in holiday parks, caravan site fees, cottages, private holiday rentals, motels, hotels, resorts, retreats and lodges
    • paid tours and experiences, which means tour operators that offer regular 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, food and wine tour, sport tour, outdoor and adventure tour
    • entry fees to 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”)

Part of your $400 expenditure must include paid accommodation.

What can I not use the voucher for?

Vouchers cannot be used on items such as:

  • gaming
  • alcohol (except if alcohol is included in a tour at locations such as a winery, brewery or distillery; excludes any alcohol purchased and consumed outside of the experience)
  • fuel
  • food and drinks except where packaged with a bookable tourism product
  • groceries
  • personal items such as clothing and accessories
  • transport costs (rental vehicles, train and bus tickets).

Is visiting a winery or a day-spa considered an eligible expense?

No, these type of expenses (unless included as part of a tour package) are not included in the Eligible expense categories of paid accommodation, paid tours and experiences, and entry fees to Melbourne attractions.

Can the voucher be used at food and wine festivals?  

No, these type of expenses (unless included as part of a tour package) are not included in the Eligible expense categories of paid accommodation, paid tours and experiences, and entry fees to Melbourne attractions. 

Can the voucher be used at a theatre?  

No, theatres do not qualify under the Eligible expense categories of paid accommodation, paid tours and experiences, and entry fees to Melbourne attractions (unless included as part of a tour package). 

Can the voucher be used at a theatre restaurant? 

No, these type of expenses (unless included as part of a tour package) are not included in the Eligible expense categories of paid accommodation, paid tours and experiences, and entry fees to Melbourne attractions. 

Can I use the voucher for an existing booking?

Yes.

Can I stay in unpaid accommodation i.e. a holiday house?

No, you must stay in paid accommodation for your holiday. This scheme is designed to provide a boost to Melbourne’s tourism businesses including accommodation providers. You must spend at least $400 on a minimum two nights’ paid accommodation, plus other eligible expenses including tours, experiences or entry fees to attractions

Can I use my voucher on a trip that includes travelling to a regional Local Government Area that isn’t included in the voucher scheme?

Eligible expenses can include experiences booked with a business during your paid accommodation in the Melbourne metropolitan area but delivered in regional Victoria, for example winery tours and other regionally based tourism attractions.    

If I have successfully applied for vouchers through both the Melbourne Travel Voucher Program and Regional Travel Voucher program, can I use both vouchers on the one trip?

Yes, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria of both programs, including spending at least $400 or more within any of the 26 local government areas in metropolitan Melbourne, including a minimum two nights’ paid accommodation in Melbourne.

How much are the Melbourne Travel Vouchers worth?

The vouchers are worth $200 each and recipients must spend a minimum of $400 on Eligible Expenses.

What happens if I spend less than $400? Can I claim 50% of what I spend?

No. The vouchers are fixed at $200, and you must spend a minimum of $400 on Eligible Expenses.

How many vouchers can individuals receive? Is there a limit?

Vouchers are available at strictly one per household. Vouchers are not transferable.

When will the Melbourne Travel Vouchers be valid for travel?

The vouchers will be valid during the travel period as set out in the table below.

If you travel after the cut-off date, the voucher will become void and will not be able to be redeemed during the claim period.

Commencement of eligible travel period Completion of eligible travel period
19 March 2021 16 May 2021

Does the travel period include the night of the last day listed in the eligible travel period?

Yes.

The Eligible Travel Period ends at 11.59pm on 16 May 2021.

How do I claim my $200 travel voucher reimbursement?

You will receive an email prompting you to submit your claim from 26 April 2021.

Using the link in this email, you can upload the evidence of eligible expenditure from your trip – note that you will need to provide tax invoices and/or receipts for a value of at least $400.

The last day you can redeem your travel voucher claim is 30 May 2021.

What forms of identification can I provide when applying?

You must provide at least one of the following when applying:

  • Victorian drivers’ licence
  • Victorian Proof of Age Card
  • Victorian Seniors Card.

The Department may choose to accept other forms of identification at its discretion.

If a travel accommodation invoice is in three peoples’ names, who are from separate households, can each of them separately claim the same invoice? i.e. a $1,200 holiday rental invoice.

Yes. If a service or expense has been provided to separate households, and that invoice cannot be split, then each household may claim their share of the invoice. This assumes that each household has received a Travel Voucher.

I do not have a drivers’ licence, Proof of Age card or a Seniors card. Can I still apply for a travel voucher?

Yes, you can apply. You will be contacted separately to provide another form of ID that demonstrates you are a Victorian resident. We may choose to accept other forms of ID at our discretion.

When can I expect payment after redeeming my voucher?

We are aiming to process payments on a weekly basis following the claim period opening on 26 April 2021.

We will endeavour to make payments within 10 business days of your claim being received.

Where will payments be made?

Payments of $200 will be made into your nominated Australian bank account.

We cannot make payments by cash or cheque.

We will endeavour to make payments within 10 business days of your claim being received.

Why did I miss out on a travel voucher?

There is only a limited number of vouchers available. The scheme works on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis until all 40,000 vouchers are issued.

Can I give my voucher to someone else to use?

No. Vouchers are non-transferable, and only the person receiving the voucher can submit a claim for reimbursement. However, you can share your travel experiences with friends and family.

I’ve lost my travel receipts. Can I still redeem my voucher and claim my $200 reimbursement?

To redeem your voucher, you will need to provide evidence of eligible expenditure from your trip. This means you will need to provide tax invoices and receipts for a value of at least $400 on a minimum two nights’ paid accommodation, plus other eligible expenses including tours, experiences or entry fees to attractions.

For the avoidance of doubt, reservations, deposits or booking advice are not considered acceptable evidence.

What happens if I cannot go on my trip due to COVID-19?

If you cannot travel due to measures put in place by the Victorian Government, you will be able to use your voucher at a later stage. 

I have received a travel voucher, but I can no longer take (or wish to take) my trip. Can I relinquish my voucher? What does this mean?

Yes, you can relinquish your voucher. If you decide to not to travel, you can call the Business Victoria Hotline on 13 22 15 to relinquish your voucher prior to making a claim.

I am yet to receive my claim email. Why has this happened?

We are progressively sending out emails to enable you to submit your claim from 26 April 2021.

The email will be sent to the email address you used to apply for the Travel Voucher. Please also check your spam or junk folders.

If you need further assistance, please contact the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.

I submitted a registration and have received an SMS or an email but not both. What should I do? Have I received a Travel Voucher?

If you have received either an SMS or email acknowledging your registration, then your registration has been received.

You may not have received both an email and an SMS for several reasons.

This may include:

  • the email address provided may be incorrect
  • the email may be in your Spam folder – we suggest that you check your Spam folder and add ‘travelvouchers@ecodev.vic.gov.au’ to your ‘preferred folder’
  • the mobile number provided may be incorrect.

I submitted two applications; will I receive two vouchers?

No, you will only receive one voucher and one email to submit a claim.

As stated in the Program Guidelines, only one voucher can be claimed per household.

Firstly, you should try to see if you can recover the email from your trash folder.

If this doesn’t work, you will need to wait until a second reminder claim email is sent to you.

Unfortunately, as these claim emails are automatically generated with unique claim forms linked to your account, we are unable to send manual emails to individual applicants.

If you need further assistance, please contact the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.

Who is administering the program?

This program is being administered by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions on behalf of the Victorian Government.

How have you ensured the integrity of applications?

The application system has rigorous identity and evidence requirements which are regularly audited to identify potential issues.

We also cross-check names and addresses for duplication.

When issues are identified, we investigate and will not issue a voucher or make a payment unless they can be resolved to the Department’s satisfaction.

What if I need any further assistance?

For further assistance please contact us or call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.

Reviewed 26 April 2021

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