Regional tourism operators will receive a much-needed boost as up to 120,000 vouchers worth $200 will be available from December to encourage travel.
Port Fairy's Gum Tree Caravan Park owner Peter McCallum was thrilled with the initiative. "I think it's awesome," he said. "It's about getting people to spend money and helping them to do so. Hopefully it will create a good influx of tourism.
"I think it's a win-win situation for every Victorian. Not only for regional Victorians who will see the vouchers trickle through to the coffee shops, retail outlets and attractions, but it's a bit of a reward for Melburnians who have been locked up and doing a fantastic job to stop the virus.
"Anything that stimulates tourism to regional areas is great."
As part of the state government's $465 million Victorian Tourism Recovery Package people will be able to apply for the vouchers as long as they spend at least $400 on accommodation, attractions or tours in regional Victoria.
Warrnambool Bus Tours operator Fiona van Kempen said the voucher would encourage people to experience different tourism attractions.
"We came up with an idea that if visitors stayed for more than three days, we would give them a voucher for our Warrnambool Wanderer Tour which shows off the city's businesses and then this initiative happened," she said.
"This will hopefully encourage people to stay longer and I'll be encouraging motels to get people to do some local tours to spend their vouchers.
"I think it's really good, anything to help any type of operators is awesome."
Port Campbell 12 Rocks owner Mick Hunt said the town was already seeing the return of tourists, but additional support was welcomed.
"The fact people can get out is the key driving factor. For a long time people couldn't go anywhere and were saving, so they can now do the things they missed out; like travel," he said.
"Anything to stimulate tourism and businesses is better than nothing."
Mr Hunt said he was positive about what the holidays will bring to the region.
"I think this summer will be as busy as usual so long as COVID remains under control," he said.
"Locals have supported locals as much as they possibly can during the pandemic and our weekends have been very strong.
"I'm quite buoyant for a bounce back."
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