Australian states and territories have introduced business voucher systems in an effort to stimulate economic activity after the slowdown caused by the COVID-19 lockdown.
Vouchers will be distributed to eligible participants to encourage spending, primarily at tourism and hospitality businesses.
Here is a look at the different voucher systems and business eligibility in each state and territory in Australia.
Dine & Discover vouchers have already been distributed to several NSW residents for a trial period in February 2021 as the government begins to implement its new COVID-19 stimulus program.
For now, the trial vouchers can only be used in specific suburbs in Sydney, while the official voucher system is expected to be launched statewide by March 2021. Customers can apply for vouchers any time as long as they are available. Vouchers can be used until 30 June 2021.
All NSW residents aged 18 and over will be able to redeem $100 worth of vouchers divided into 2 categories:
- 2 x $25 vouchers can be used at restaurants, cafes, bars, and clubs from Mondays to Thursdays, excluding public holidays.
- 2 x $25 vouchers can be used at cultural institutions, live music, and arts and entertainment venues 7 days a week, excluding public holidays.
To be eligible for Dine & Discover, businesses must:
- have an active Australian Business Number (ABN);
- be registered for GST;
- operate in NSW in one of the eligible industries; and
- be registered as COVID-safe and have a COVID Safety Plan.
For more information and how to register, visit the Service NSW website.
The ACT government has successfully carried out the trial period for the ChooseCBR campaign which concluded on 24 December 2020. There are discussions regarding a statewide launch in 2021 but nothing has been set in stone so far.
Through this campaign, all ACT residents aged 18 and over will receive daily vouchers to use at various businesses in Canberra.
Eligible customers will get a daily pack of vouchers worth $40. These vouchers can be accessed online through the ChooseCBR website.
To be eligible for ChooseCBR, businesses must:
- have a physical shopfront in ACT;
- have received JobKeeper in 2020;
- have less than $10 million turnover per annum; and
- be in one of the following industries: retail, tourism and accommodation, arts and recreation, personal services and hospitality sectors.
For more information on business eligibility and obligations, visit the ChooseCBR website.
If you are eligible, register your business here.
The stimulus program in Queensland focuses on encouraging families to get their kids back into community sports.
The program is currently in its fourth round, which closes on 17 March 2021.
Under the FairPlay voucher scheme, parents will be given vouchers of up to $150 to use at registered fitness organisations. Vouchers are limited to 1 voucher per child per calendar year.
To be eligible for FairPlay, businesses must:
- have a valid ABN and be either a Queensland sport and active recreation organisation affiliated with one of the listed State or National Level Organisations; or one of the listed Queensland State or National level sporting organisations, a Queensland not-for-profit sport or recreation organisation, or a not-for-profit community organisation;
- provide one or more of the eligible activities in Queensland over a minimum of 8 weeks/sessions;
- have and maintain suitable public liability and team/participant insurance;
- meet the Queensland Blue Card requirements for persons working with children; and
- ensure that activities are conducted by appropriately qualified persons, including coaches, instructors, referees, managers and first aid officers where applicable.
For more information and how to register, visit the Queensland government website.
Victoria’s Regional Travel Voucher Scheme was launched in December 2020 to encourage Victorians to travel locally.
This scheme seeks to address not only the impact of COVID-19 but also the devastation caused by the Black Summer bushfires on regional businesses and communities.
The third round of the scheme will be open for registration on 30 March 2021.
Due to the success of the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme, the Victorian government had extended the scheme to support tourism businesses in metropolitan Melbourne through the Melbourne Travel Voucher Scheme as well. Unfortunately, the allocation of vouchers for the Melbourne Travel Voucher Scheme has now been exhausted.
Victorian residents aged 18 and above are eligible to apply and can claim a reimbursement of $200 when:
- they have spent a minimum of $400 on accommodation, tours, attractions or experiences; and
- for at least 2 nights of paid accommodation in regional Victoria, the Yarra and Dandenong Ranges or the Mornington Peninsula.
Business owners do not need to apply for this scheme as they will get reimbursed directly when participants use the vouchers.
For more information, visit the VIC Government website.
The SA government has issued two rounds of travel vouchers under the Great State Voucher campaign since October 2020 to stimulate the tourism sector in the state that was badly affected by the pandemic.
$2 million were allocated to provide $100 vouchers for CBD and North Adelaide accommodation, and $50 vouchers for suburban and regional accommodation.
The second round of allocations for vouchers were exhausted quickly and business registrations have closed. The travel period for those vouchers ends on 31 March 2021.
More vouchers worth $50, $100, and $200 will be available in late April 2021.
All South Australian residents aged 18 and above are eligible to apply for the Great State Voucher.
A portion of the vouchers will also be allocated to interstate travellers.
Businesses in the tourism industry are encouraged to complete an Expression of Interest with the South Australian Tourism Commission as soon as possible.
For more information, visit the South Australia Tourism website.
The Northern Territory’s Territory Tourism Voucher scheme was introduced on 1 July 2020 and has successfully completed two rounds of voucher rollouts. It is currently in its third round of vouchers allocations.
Voucher allocations for round 3 have been exhausted but customers can join the waitlist for future vouchers by filling in their details on the Territory Tourism Voucher website.
The scheme offers discounts of up to $200 off travel plans for Territorians ages 18 and above.
If the tour or experience was booked 400km from the individual’s permanent residence, they can apply for a bonus claim of up to an additional $200.
Similarly to the Victorian voucher scheme, businesses do not need to apply for the scheme and will be reimbursed directly as the vouchers are used.
For more information, visit the Territory Tourism Voucher website.
The Wander Out Yonder campaign was introduced by the WA government in September 2020.
The campaign offered $100 travel vouchers to WA residents, and has since ended with no word of it starting again.
However, the Stay, Play and Save initiative was launched in January 2021 which offered discounts of up to $200 off mid-week getaways at hotels in Perth.
WA locals will get $200 off their hotel bookings when they spend at least $400 on a minimum two-night stay from Sunday to Thursday at participating hotels.
Bookings for this voucher have ended on 5 March 2021. The travel period is January to April 2021.
Bookings through this voucher have ended but keep an eye out for announcements on future voucher schemes in the state.
For more information, visit the Destination Perth website.
If you have any questions about the voucher scheme in your state or territory, feel free to reach out to us on our website! We are confident that we will be able to assist you with your query.