The second round of registrations for the Northern Territory’s Never Have I Ever tourism voucher program opened earlier this week with uptake already proving far higher than the first round in June.
Indeed, the initial batch of 12,000 vouchers was snapped up within a few hours of going live on 2 November. Northern Territorians can register interest for future vouchers due to be released at territoryvoucher.nt.gov.au.
Already the popular voucher scheme which is limited to Territorians only has generated $9.6 million for the NT’s tourism industry that was hit hard by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The voucher system functions on the basis that for every dollar spent by a traveller, Tourism NT will match the spend up to $200. Vouchers are redeemable on any bookable accommodation, car hire, tour or attraction such as a fishing tour, a river cruise, a scenic flight, a cultural tour.
Natasha Fyles, the NT Minister for Tourism and Hospitality, said, “We have seen a fantastic boost to our local economy through round 1 of the Territory Tourism Vouchers which have so far returned more than $9.6 million in bookings across the Northern Territory”
“Encouraging locals to get out and become a tourist in their own backyard has been one of the best ways to support our tourism and hospitality operators, and Territorians have really taken this opportunity on board.
“One of the aims for round 2 is further visitation into our regions. That’s why we have introduced a bonus claim option that will essentially double the voucher value from $200 to $400 for those that travel out into regions.”
Travel vouchers also proved extremely popular with Tasmanian residents with the second round of the Make Yourself at Home campaign in September oversubscribed.
As part of the $5 million second round, there were about 20,000 registrations with 500 registered through the call centre. Sarah Courtney, the Tasmanian Minister for Small Business, Hospitality and Events said, “ I know it has been challenging, especially for our tourism and hospitality industries, particularly on weekdays, which is why our voucher model has been built around overnight stays from Sunday to Thursday with visits to attractions and participation in touring experiences able to be undertaken on any day of the week.
The Minister continued, “It’s pleasing that local operators like Adina Place Motel Apartments and McDermott’s Coaches have been able to leverage from the ‘Make Yourself At Home’ travel initiative by creating special packages to further incentivise visitation.”
Oliver Wade, Head of Marketing & Partnerships, OnDeck Australia, said the voucher initiatives in the Northern Territory and Tasmania had hit the mark in supporting tourism industry recovery. “Tourism and hospitality are also significant industries in the other states and territories, and the relevant governments would do well to follow the lead set by Tasmania and Northern Territory.
“In the meantime, while the other provincial governments play catch up, we recorded approximately 50% spike in loan enquiries in October, which is great to see as it indicates that Australia’s small business community is becoming aware of specialist SME lenders such as OnDeck. This is giving more businesses, including those in the tourism and hospitality sector the opportunity to access the funds they need to support their recovery.
Oliver concludes, “One of the key benefits of online lenders such as OnDeck is that SMEs can enjoy rapid loan approval times, often with funding available in 1-3 business days. This allows SME owners to access finance promptly to take advantage of the recovery opportunities as they arise.”
Get in touch today to find out about OnDeck’s funding options that could support with finance for your SME’s recovery planning.
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