Victoria to roll out $200 travel vouchers, Art after Dark Melbourne slated for May

Victoria to roll out $200 travel vouchers, Art after Dark Melbourne slated for May

The Victorian Government is releasing 150,000 travel vouchers to encourage tourism spending, with ballots opening for seniors who can register from 11 am AEDT today.

Acting Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Mary-Anne Thomas confirmed an initial 10,000 vouchers would be available under the Seniors Travel Voucher Scheme, followed by 140,000 for the Victorian Travel Voucher Scheme on 23 March.

The Seniors Travel Voucher Scheme will provide a $200 reimbursement to eligible seniors who spend $400 or more on paid accommodation, tours and experiences.

Recipients for the seniors' vouchers will be chosen by a random ballot, while the broader scheme will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis and will close once the allocation has been exhausted.

Successful applicants must spend a minimum of $400 and stay for at least two nights in paid accommodation such as hotels and motels, serviced apartments, caravan parks, camping sites, farm stays and private holiday rentals.

Vouchers will be valid for travel between 8 April and 27 May, and form part of a $200 million business stimulus package from the State Government.

"The travel voucher program has helped encourage Victorians to explore the best of our state, while supporting local businesses and jobs," Minister Thomas said.

"We want people to explore our great state and provide a boost to tourism businesses as the sector continues its recovery from the impact of the pandemic."

"This gives Victorian seniors a unique chance to snap up travel vouchers through an exclusive round – allowing thousands of seniors to enjoy more of Victoria," added Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Anthony Carbines.

Art After Dark Melbourne in the spotlight in May

The vouchers will be valid at the same time as a new event planned for Melbourne to nurture its status as a creative and late-night capital, inspired by Europe’s Night of Museums, where the city's cultural institutions will collaborate on a dynamic program of free and paid experiences.

Victorian Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson yesterday unveiled the concept of Art After Dark Melbourne, which is expected to inject millions of dollars into the economy as tens of thousands of visitors converge on Melbourne’s CBD.

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV International and Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia), Arts Centre Melbourne, Fed Square, Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), State Library of Victoria and Melbourne Museum will all have late-night openings until 1am on Friday 13 May and Saturday 14 May,

In 2019, an independent study found that the value of major events to the Victorian economy was $2.5 billion. The report also showed that significant events attracted almost 6.9 million international and interstate visitors to Victoria.

"Our investment in this major new event is supporting jobs in the creative and tourism sectors, while offering another exciting reason for Victorians to rediscover everything Melbourne’s night-time economy has to offer," Minister Pearson said.

"Art After Dark Melbourne will bring tens of thousands of people into the CBD, bringing with them a significant boost to hotels, cafes, bars, restaurants and retail shops across the city."

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