With the COVID-19 pandemic generally well-handled across all Australian states and territories, some are now offering people vouchers to help put money back into the economy.
New research shows 80% of us are pining for a holiday. With vaccination rates up, lockdowns easing, and COVID fatigue well-and-truly here, there are various states offering vouchers to boost the tourism and hospitality sectors.
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State Dining Out and Travel Vouchers
Most vouchers and incentives tend to focus on our most decimated industries - tourism, and hospitality. There’s a few states offering vouchers for dining out, as well as for travel items such as accommodation and experiences.
Here are the details:
New South Wales vouchers
NSW has two schemes - 'Dine & Discover', and 'Stay & Resdiscover'. The former targets hospitality, and the latter targets accommodation.
The last Dine & Discover vouchers expired at the end of July, however more are expected in December.
They provided up to four, $25 vouchers (unable to be combined) to be spent on restaurants
Stay & Rediscover vouchers will be offered from November, providing a single $50 voucher to be spent on accommodation within the state.
Both are open to all NSW residents aged over 18.
More information can be found here: www.service.nsw.gov.au/stay-rediscover
Victoria - Regional Travel Voucher Scheme
Victoria previously encouraged residents to head regional with the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme. However, the latest spate of lockdowns largely put the kabosh on that.
That said, a new round of 80,000 vouchers is expected to be made available soon.
Previous renditions covered accommodation, sightseeing entry fees (such as museums), and tours in regional Victoria, the Yarra Ranges, and the Mornington Peninsula. So if you wanted to see where Harold Holt went missing and then stay a couple nights in Portsea, you’re in luck.
Each voucher gave a maximum reimbursement of $200, but you needed to spend at least $400 on eligible activities (i.e. a 50% reimbursement). For accommodation you must stay a minimum two nights, and it’s limited to one voucher per household. You also must travel between the eligible periods (usually outside of school holidays).
More information can be found here: www.vic.gov.au/regional-travel-voucher-scheme
Northern Territory - Territory Tourism voucher
The Territory Tourism Voucher scheme is currently in its fourth rendition.
From 4 October, Top End residents aged over 18 are eligible to receive up to $200, designed to be used across a host of 'experiences'.
Residents must contribute up to $200 of their own money to be eligible for the $200 kicker.
An additional $200 in bonus vouchers may also be up for grabs should a resident travel more than 400km one-way for their experience.
More information can be found here: www.tourismnt.com.au/marketing/domestic-marketing/current-campaigns/territory-tourism-voucher
What about other states and territories?
Other states previously offered their own various travel voucher schemes towards the tail end of 2020:
South Australia's ‘Great State' vouchers
Tasmania's ‘Buy Something Tasmanian’ scheme
Western Australia's ‘Wander Voucher’ program, and
ACT's ‘ChooseCBR’ discount scheme
Queensland - Discover Queensland voucher
Queensland residents were previously offered up to $200 in travel vouchers, which expired 4 October.
Discover Queensland also gave eligible participants a $50 voucher to explore the state.From the Whitsundays, to Noosa, to the Gold Coast.
Savings.com.au's two cents
Many of us are simply itching for a holiday. Unfortunately, international borders remain closed for now, but luckily there’s a lot to offer in our own backyard, with different states and territories offering incentives to get out and explore.
However, there’s usually no free lunch with these schemes as you usually need to make a booking at least double what the voucher is worth. But, it’s for a good cause, so if you’re looking for a holiday, it’s worth considering these schemes.
Article first published 21 January 2021, last updated 20 October 2021.
Photo by Lochlainn Riordan on Unsplash