Are tourism dollar voucher schemes saving Australia’s tourism industry?
Everyone loves a holiday and what’s better than just a holiday? A holiday with free money.
In the hope of boosting Australia’s economy from the dooms of coronavirus (and not to mention off the back of a tough hand of natural disasters), tourism dollar voucher schemes have sure been the flavour of the year. Every state and the Northern Territory have launched incentives and LTOs haven’t held back from joining the party either.
But are these free tourism dollars encouraging Australians to see what makes Australia great again?
While the Territory had seen far less of the lockdown restrictions compared to the rest of the country, it didn’t stop them from feeling the impacts of COVID – having seen 1,703,000 domestic visitors in 2019.
With a swag full of adventure on the doorstep (hello dramatic landscapes, ancient aboriginal culture and iconic wildlife) of Territory locals, it was time for Territorians to put a stop to saying “Never have I ever…” to their local experiences and launch the Territory Tourism Voucher Campaign with the helping hands of Queensland’s Bookeasy.
The Territory Tourism Voucher scheme is a $16.2 million package by the NT Government, offering Territorians aged 18+ a Territory Tourism Voucher worth up to $200 if they contribute $200 of their own money. The voucher provides an incentive to support the tourism industry and to experience the great Territory lifestyle by encouraging Territorians to purchase bookable tourism experiences in the Top End, Red Centre, Katherine and Barkly regions.
Territorians have embraced holidaying in their own backyard and backing local tourism experiences with the scheme, a win for business, the economy and Territorians.
With popularity of the program, Round 2 and 3 saw an additional $200 incentive (up to a maximum of $400) matched dollar for dollar, for Territorians who travel in excess of 400kms.
From the Top End to the Red Centre, Territorians were snapping up the vouchers quicker than crocs to use across accommodation, travel services and even to help snag themselves a barra in the NT’s Million Dollar Fish. The four visitor centres across the NT, were soon flooded again after a visitor drought.
Tourism Top End’s Visitor Information Centre Manager, Sue Lombard explained “The voucher campaigns generate massive interest and excitement. People are already talking about the upcoming Round 4 and we’re receiving calls and visits to the Centre enquiring about how to obtain a voucher,”
“It’s a fantastic campaign and it’s really helped many Tourism Operators stay afloat through what would likely have been a total catastrophe without the scheme.”
Three rounds later and the NT has distributed 24,500 vouchers, generating $26.7 million in gross sales for NT businesses. With such great success of the campaign, it was no surprise that demand for Round 4 resembles the flame emoji, launching in October 2021.
So can the NT claim their title of Australia’s ‘Comeback Capital’? We think, YES.
With itchy feet by travellers made piping hot demand for the vouchers across Australia. In September 2020, WA followed suit with their own Wonder Out Yonder Campaign targeting the Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) market and holiday visitors.
Travellers reopened their wallets again for the sake of travel with the $100 vouchers for eligible tours and experiences to explore all that Perth has to offer, hit the road and get adventurous across WA.
CEO of Bookeasy, Tony Shine said, “It was great to help the west back on its feet, working with their 25 visitor centres in the huge campaign, seeing them come alive again.”
The Whitsundays dived into their warm tropical waters in May 2021, offering their Holiday Dollars splash of cash to boost the region’s tourism industry, often reliant on the international market.
With the helping hands of Bookeasy, the campaign ran from 4 May – 30 June 2021 and delivered a value of $1.6 million in bookings, assisting tourism operators and job opportunities across the region. With an ever-changing domestic travel environment, the Whitsundays Holiday Dollars campaign assisted over 40 operators in the region and received an overall operator satisfaction of 96%.
The Whitsundays Holiday Dollars saw locals exploring their backyards and soaking up the sunshine, as well as enjoying new tours and experiences they hadn’t done before, enticing many locals to tick off some bucket list items. For every $1 of campaign investment, $2.24 went to operators.
With bumper results across the country, these voucher schemes are opening the minds of Australians to explore their backyards and even consider doing something they may not have done otherwise.
Bookeasy is proud to help deliver the road to recovery for destinations across Australia with the tourism voucher schemes.
Want to know more? Contact the team at Bookeasy here.