What is the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme?
We want Victorians to get out and explore our wonderful state, whether that’s a romantic weekend away or a family holiday, and in the process give our tourism businesses and workers a boost.
The will give Victorians an incentive to explore their state, by providing vouchers to Victorian residents to contribute to the costs of accommodation, tourism attractions or tours undertaken in regional Victoria, the Yarra and Dandenong Ranges, the Mornington Peninsula and the Victorian alpine ski resorts.
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.
Each voucher gives the voucher holder the right to claim for a reimbursement of $200 if they have spent at least $400 on accommodation, a tourism attraction or tour in regional Victoria, including the Yarra Valley, Dandenong Ranges, Mornington Peninsula and the Victorian alpine ski resorts. Even if the applicant spends more than $400 on tourism in regional Victoria, they are only entitled to a $200 reimbursement.
When will the voucher scheme open?
Three rounds of the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme have been held and all allocations have been exhausted. The government has announced a fourth round will be held to distribute unclaimed vouchers. Further details regarding this round will be published.
Thank you for your interest in the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme.
Over what period of time can travel take place?
The key dates for this scheme are as follows:
|Round and vouchers*||Registrations open||Eligible travel period||Claim period and cutoff date|
|Round 1A||Allocation exhausted||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 3|| |
30 March 2021, 10.00am
|6 April 2021 to 31 May 2021||10 May 2021 to 14 June 2021|
How does Victoria’s scheme compare to those in other states?
The $28-million Regional Travel Voucher Scheme is the largest travel voucher scheme in Australia.
Similar but smaller programs have been running in South Australia ($5 million), Tasmania ($12.5 million) and Northern Territory ($16.2 million).
How many Regional Travel Vouchers will be available?
160,000 vouchers have been made available through three rounds. Details regarding a fourth round will be published soon.
How will the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme work?
Registration and redemption of vouchers will be 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.
- Applicants' eligibility is confirmed within seven business days by email.
- Voucher recipients take their trip to regional Victoria during the eligible travel period
- Following their trip, voucher 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 Regional Travel Voucher Scheme works
Register for a voucher
Round 1: from 10.00am on 11 December 2020
Round 2: from 10.00am on 20 January 2021 1 2
Round 3: from 10.00am on 30 March 2021
Victorian residents apply to be registered to receive a Regional Travel Voucher.
You will receive an acknowledgement of your 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:
You can redeem your voucher between:
During the claim period you can apply for reimbursement by making a claim.
The claim period will be open for approximately 5 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. If you choose to relinquish your voucher, you will be able to reapply for a voucher in any subsequent rounds.
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.
Reservation, deposits or booking advice is not considered acceptable evidence.
Your tax invoices or receipts should provide clear evidence of the date of expenditure
The last day you can redeem your travel Voucher claim is:
Funds will be sent to your nominated bank account.
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.
1 Voucher holders impacted by the introduction of the 'circuit breaker actions' will be permitted to travel in the Round 3 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.
Where can the Regional Travel Vouchers be spent?
The vouchers can be spent in the 11 regional tourism regions in Victoria which comprise the 48 Regional and Rural Council areas, plus the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Frankston City Council, Yarra Ranges Shire Council, Nillumbik Shire Council, Cardinia Shire Council, Victoria’s six Alpine Resorts, French Island, Lady Julia Percy Island and Gabo Island. See below for a full list of eligible municipalities.
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 consecutive nights in regional Victoria in paid accommodation.
- Travel must be undertaken within the 48 regional and rural local government areas, including Mornington Peninsula, Dandenong Ranges, Yarra Valley and Victorian alpine ski resorts (see below for a list of eligible locations).
- Expenditure of more than $400 must be incurred on one or more of the following:
- Paid accommodation – which means serviced apartments, backpackers 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; or
- Tours – 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; or
- Entry fees – 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.
What can’t vouchers be used for?
Vouchers cannot be used on items such as:
- 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 a bookable tourism product
- Personal items such as clothing and accessories
- Transport costs (rental vehicles, train and bus tickets).
Can I use the voucher for an existing booking?
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 regional tourism businesses including accommodation providers; you still must spend at least $400 on accommodation, tours or entry fees to tourism attractions.
How much are the Regional 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 get? Is there a limit?
Vouchers are available strictly one per household across all rounds of the scheme.
Anyone who has received a voucher through the Melbourne Travel Voucher Scheme is eligible to receive another travel voucher in this scheme.
When will the regional travel vouchers be valid for travel?
The vouchers will be valid during the travel period as set out in the table below. Vouchers will have a specific expiry dates based on the round of issue.
After that time that the voucher will become void and will not be able to be redeemed.
|Round||Commencement of eligible travel period||Completion of eligible travel period|
|#3||6 April 2021||31 May 2021|
I got a voucher in Round 1. Can I use it Round 2 or Round 3?
No. Vouchers are only eligible for use in the eligible travel period for the round of allocation.
How do I claim my $200 travel voucher reimbursement?
You will receive an email after your proposed travel period to enable you to make your claim.
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:
- Round 1: Closed
- Round 2: 14 June 2021
- Round 3: 14 June 2021
When can I expect payment after redeeming my voucher?
We are aiming to process payments on a weekly basis following the claim period opening, as follows:
- Round 1: Claim period closed.
- Round 2: Between 18 March 2021 and 21 June 2021
- Round 3: Between 17 May 2021 and 21 June 2021
These dates are approximate only.
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.
What happens if I am unsuccessful in Round 1? Can I apply in future rounds?
Yes. You can apply in future rounds.
Why did I miss out on a travel voucher?
There is a limited number of vouchers available. The scheme works on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis.
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.
For the avoidance of doubt, reservations, deposits or booking advice, is not considered acceptable evidence.
Does the travel period include the night of the last day listed in the eligible travel period?
No. The eligible travel period ends at 11.59pm on:
- Round 1: Closed
- Round 2: Closed
- Round 3: 31 May 2021
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?
You may not have received both an email or a SMS for several reasons. This may include:
- Your email address provided may be incorrect.
- The email may be in your spam folder. We suggest that you check your spam folder and add to your preferred folder.
- Your mobile number provided may be incorrect.
If you have received either a SMS or email acknowledging your registration, then your registration has been received.
Does the 2 nights' accommodation have to be continuous?
Yes. Your 2 nights' accommodation is required to be continuous.
Can I spend my voucher on 2 separate accommodation and activity charges in 2 separate LGAs?
Yes, as long as the 2 paid nights' accommodation are in the approved regional local government areas and relevant receipts are provided, you can spend money across multiple locations.
If a travel accommodation invoice is in 3 people’s names, who are from separate households, can each of them separately claim the same invoice (eg a $1200 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 submitted 2 applications, but I have only received 1 email to submit a claim.
As stated in the program guidelines, only one voucher can be claimed per household.
I am yet to receive my claim email. Why?
Round 2 claim emails will be progressively sent to you from 11 March 2021.
For Round 3, claim emails will be progressively sent to you from 10 May 2021.
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 proves you are a Victorian resident. We may choose to accept other forms of ID at our discretion.
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 regional attractions.
Can the voucher be used at a hot springs?
A voucher may be used for hot springs provided it is a place of interest that offers a distinct visitor experience.
Can the voucher be used for sport hire, for example tennis or mountain biking?
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 for yoga classes or other sport/leisure classes?
No, sport/leisure classes do not qualify under the Eligible expense categories of paid accommodation, paid tours and experiences, and entry fees to Victorian attractions (unless included as part of a tour package.)
I received my claim email with the link to submit my claim, but I accidentally deleted this email. What should I do?
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 claim reminder email is sent to you.
For Round 1, this will be sent in the week commencing 25 January 2021.
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.
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 happens if I cannot go on my trip during the Round 2 eligible travel period due to coronavirus (COVID-19) ‘circuit-breaker’ restrictions?
If your travel plans have been impacted by the February 2021 ‘circuit-breaker’ restrictions, your voucher is now valid for the Round 3 eligible travel period, between 6 April and 31 May 2021.
How will you manage the range of travel plans impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions?
There is a range of different strategies in place for successful applicants who have had their travel plans cancelled or impacted by these latest set of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. Please view the table below for the various options:
|Travel undertaken and completed prior to restrictions|
Claim will be processed as normal.
Claim emails will be sent to you from 11 March 2021.
|Travel period booked during lockdown period of 12 February to 17 February||You may now travel in both the Round 2 and Round 3 eligible travel periods.|
|Travel already underway as at 12 February||The requirement for a minimum two-nights' consecutive accommodation is waived in this instance.|
|Travel booked from 18 February||There will be no change for anyone travelling post lockdown period and vouchers will be honoured as normal.|
|Round 2 voucher holders who prefer to travel during Round 3 dates||Travel can be undertaken during the Round 3 travel period of 6 April to 31 May.|
What if my travel was already underway when coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions were introduced?
If your travel was already underway when restrictions were imposed, the requirement for a minimum 2-night stay will be waived. Vouchers will be honoured for a one-night stay. This only applies to applicants who commenced travel on 12 February 2021.
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.
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 cancel your booking and relinquish your voucher prior to making a claim, you will be eligible to reapply for a voucher in the next round on a first come first served basis.
Who is administering the program?
This program is being administered by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions on behalf of the Victorian Government.
What if I need any further assistance?
Which regional municipalities are eligible?
The following municipalities are included in the 11 Regional Tourism regions:
- 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
Regional Travel Voucher Scheme
Vouchers worth $200 will be available to reimburse certain Victorian regional travel expenses under this $28 million scheme.
Reviewed 22 April 2021