Free public transport travel vouchers are now on offer to encourage Melburnians to take advantage of the city’s Christmas events and festivals.
The Victorian government has unveiled 250,000 free public transport travel vouchers to support Melbourne retailers, galleries, attractions and hospitality this Christmas season.
As businesses continue to recover from lockdowns, the Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) said this is just the kind of Christmas cheer needed by many in the private sector.
“This is a great Christmas present for the many businesses that make up Melbourne’s visitor economy,” VTIC CEO Felicia Mariani said.
“After the devastation of the past 20 months, these voucher and discount initiatives will make it even easier for Victorians to visit the city over the Christmas break, and to engage with our marvellous Melbourne.”
The public transport travel vouchers can be accessed from Thursday and can then be used between December 18 and January 31.
Ms Mariani pointed to a range of Christmas events and festivals being delivered by the City of Melbourne over the next month and a half.
“Enjoy a spectacular night at the theatre – Harry Potter, Moulin Rouge, or Frozen; being mesmerised by Disney’s Magic of Animation at ACMI,” she said.
“Getting lost in the cultural offerings of our galleries and museums; spending an afternoon at one of Melbourne’s amazing attractions; or coming into the city for Christmas presents – it’s now that little bit easier.”
On top of the travel vouchers, 50,000 vouchers will be issued across five streams of activity including: Christmas events and festivals, galleries and attractions, food and hospitality and performing arts and retail.
“We know these vouchers and discount programs are effective in driving activation and spend from consumers,” Ms Mariani said.
The new program comes after the recent ‘Midweek Melbourne Money Scheme’ saw $20 million stream into restaurants, bars and cafes over a 10-day period.
Weekday dining was nearly double what had been seen before the pandemic.
“These incentive schemes really do their job by encouraging Victorians to get out and about, and to explore the magic of their own backyard,” Ms Mariani said.
“As interstate borders reopen, incentive schemes will be critical to ensuring Victoria’s recovery does not stall.”
“As we head into cooler weather, Victorians and tourists are likely to travel towards warmth and sunshine in northern NSW and Queensland.”
VTIC is pushing for the Andrews Government to consider another round of accomodation vouchers to boost off-peak holiday travel to metropolitan and regional areas.