Wondering how to get in on your state or territory’s travel voucher scheme? Here is everything you need to know.
To support the tourism industry each state has designed their own tourism incentive voucher system: some are complex, others already finished, many involve a minimum spend and all are conditional. Below is everything you need to know about each state’s travel incentive and cashback programs.
Status: First and Second round closed, Third launching 30th March, 2021
The third round of Victoria’s travel voucher scheme kicks off at 10am Tuesday 30th March, and involves a $200 reimbursement if you spend a minimum of $400 on tours and experiences, accommodation and entry fees or attractions in 11 eligible regional areas. One voucher is available per household, evidence must be provided of the $400 spent (and can be audited up to four years after your travel), and the $200 is then deposited into a nominated account. Another condition is that you also must stay two consecutive nights in paid accommodation- not with friends or at a holiday house. Victorians can register online for the scheme, must travel during an eligible period from 10th May to the 14th June, and the vouchers cannot be used for food, fuel or gambling. The biggest catch? The system operates on a first-come, first-serve basis, which means if you’re not quick getting online, you miss out.
Rolled out across Local Government areas, with the last allocation on March 31st, the NSW Government is offering two $25 dine vouchers for using in restaurants, cafes, bars, wineries, pubs or clubs, and two $25 discover vouchers for entertainment and recreation including live music, museums and art galleries through businesses that have registered for Dine & Discover. Valid until June 30th, they’re available for NSW Residents through the Service NSW app online using a QR code, or can be printed out at Service NSW centres by staff.
The catch? They can only be used once with no change given if you spend less than the $25 amount, and you cannot get takeaway, online food orders, alcohol, tobacco or gambling.
The government has also announced a new package available to NSW residents aimed at boosting tourism in Sydney, by offering up to 200,000 vouchers worth $100 each for accommodation in the CBD, starting in June. Details have not been finalised, but is part of a wider tourism support package.
Status: First Round completed, Second Pending
Launched in December 2020, the first “trial” round of the Australian Capital Territory’s Choose CBR scheme offered $40 worth of vouchers per day for 13 days at registered Canberra businesses – and it was open to anyone visiting Canberra from anywhere in Australia. However, the system was complex: each discount voucher involved a minimum spend. For example, to get a discount of $10 you had to spend $40 overall. To be eligible, businesses also had to jump through hoops: they had to have a physical shopfront, had staff on jobkeeper, be in retail, tourism, accommodation, arts, recreation, personal services or the hospitality sector, and earn less than $10 million turnover per year. The system had mixed results; only $310,000 of the allocated $500,000 was used.
A second main round of vouchers will be available soon, with $2 million earmarked in the ACT 2020-2021 budget, and leaders have highlighted there might be changes so more businesses are eligible. To stay updated, register online at: choosecbr.act.gov.au
Designed to entice Queenslanders to Cairns and The Great Barrier Reef, the government’s Cairns Holiday Dollars scheme issued 15,000 travel vouchers offering a 50 per cent discount on eligible tourism attractions, up to a value of $200. This included trips out to the reef and 4WD adventures, day spas and attractions, which can be used from March 15th to June 25th. The bad news? Registration opened on March 8th and closed on March 11th for Queenslanders over the age of 18, and was issued via a random lottery. While the premier hasn’t ruled out support for other areas impacted by Covid-19, there are no formal plans in place for more vouchers.
Announced in September 2020, the Wander Out Yonder campaign included 10,000 vouchers aimed at promoting experiences across Western Australia. While all the vouchers have been snapped up, they offered a $100 discount for every $200 spent, with tours taking place before the end of December 2020.
Recognising urban hotels have done it tough, the government also ran a Stay, Play and Save campaign in early 2021, offering a $200 discount on a two-night consecutive hotel stay in Perth with a minimum spend of $400. Available mid-week, it was valid until the end of April, but bookings had to be finalised by February 19th.
Both schemes have now closed, but locals are encouraged to sign up to the campaign mailing list to be notified if another scheme runs.
Status: Third Round Pending
South Australia is onto its third round of tourism incentives. Launched in October, the first round offered $100 vouchers for hotels in urban areas and $50 for regional areas and was valid from October to December. The second, launched in January 2021 included a separate allocation for interstate travellers alongside locals.
While final details have not been released, South Australia’s third round of vouchers will target hosted tours and experiences in the state. The Great State Experiences voucher will provide $50, $100 and $200 vouchers for registered businesses during the quieter winter period and July school holidays. It is aimed at South Australians, but they have indicated a small allocation will be available to interstate travellers. Set to launch after the peak Easter season, get ready to get in fast as it’s first in, best dressed: the first allocation sold out in 90 minutes, the second in 40 minutes.
Tasmania has offered two travel voucher schemes under the Make Yourself at Home moniker, but both have now finished. The first round kicked off in September, allowing couples, singles and families to register for a combination of accommodation and experience vouchers valued from $150 per adult to $550 per family, eligible until December 2020. Voucher holders claimed the money back after showing receipts.
The scheme was popular, with both the first and second rounds selling out within an hour. However, with a state election now called for May in the apple isle, there might be more travel schemes announced — or at least the promise of them.
Status: Round Three Active
The Northern Territory has offered three rounds of travel incentives worth over $16 million since July 2020, valid for any Territorian over the age of 18. The voucher system works on a dollar-for-dollar incentive up to $200. So if you book a $400 experience, you’ll receive a maximum of $200 off.
Participants must register online, with vouchers issued on a first-come, first serve basis. Vouchers must be booked and paid through visitor centres, they must be spent in one transaction, and must be booked within 14 days of the voucher being issued on either tours, attractions, accommodation or car hire. Travel must be completed by 30th April.
Round three also has a bonus round, where if you are booking a product through one of the four visitor information centres, and the experience or product is more than 400 kilometres away from your home, you can be reimbursed an amount ranging from $1 to $200. This is only reimbursed if you show evidence and claim it within seven days of travel. You can check your eligibility here.
WATCH OUT FOR:
The Federal government’s half price flight scheme, when prices and discounts are revealed online April 1st, 2021.