What is the Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program?
The Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program provides support to accommodation providers in regional Victoria, the Yarra Valley, the Dandenong Ranges and the Mornington Peninsula impacted by the latest Stay at Home restrictions affecting metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, as well cancellations arising from state border restrictions.
The Victorian Government announced Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) on Tuesday 30 June and 4 July 2020, for specific postcodes and then all of Greater Melbourne and Mitchell Shire on 7 July 2020. Further restrictions on interstate visitors through border closures were announced on 6 July 2020. All these restrictions have resulted in a significant decline in bookings in tourism accommodation across Victoria. To ensure Victorian tourism accommodation providers (Accommodation Providers) are not adversely impacted by these Stay at Home restrictions and border closures, the Government has announced the Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program.
The Program supports Accommodation Providers who are located in the 48 Regional and Rural Council areas, plus the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Frankston City Council, Yarra Ranges Shire, Nillumbik Shire Council, Cardinia Shire Council, Victoria’s six Alpine Resorts, French Island, Lady Julia Percy Island and Gabo Island. These Accommodation Providers will be eligible for a grant payment to cover cancelled bookings made by residents who are unable to travel due to restrictions.
The total amount available for the program is capped at $40 million.
The grant payment amount is up to 100% of the cancelled booking amount and is capped at $225 (ex GST) per bookable offering per night up to a total amount of $1125 (ex GST) for each bookable offering made available to the public by the Accommodation Provider.
To be eligible for the Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program, the accommodation provider must:
- be located in one of the eleven Victorian Regional Tourism Regions (48 regional and rural councils plus a number of interface councils in the Yarra Ranges and Mornington Peninsula; Victoria’s six ski resorts; Gabo, French, Lady Julia Percy Islands)
- be bookable to the general public and advertised via an online booking platform, a registered real estate agent or a publicly available location that the accommodation provider can advise
- be a business that holds an ABN since at least 30 June 2020 and is registered with the federal, state local government regulator.
Accommodation providers with a bookable property can make a claim if they are able to provide evidence of a loss of income as a result of a cancelled booking from a resident from metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire, or from interstate due to the imposition of border restrictions by other states and territories.
Only accommodation operators with an ABN in the eleven (11) Victorian Regional Tourism Regions (inclusive of the 48 regional and rural councils, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Frankston City Council, Yarra Ranges Shire Council, Nillumbik Shire Council, and Cardinia Shire Council, Victoria’s six alpine resorts, French Island, Gabo Island and Lady Julia Percy Island) are eligible.
A claim will only be approved on confirmation and delivery of a statutory declaration by the accommodation provider that all the following criteria are satisfied and can be evidenced:
- a refund has been made for 100 per cent of any payment made towards the booking amount
- no cancellation fee or other tariff was charged to cancel the booking
- the cancelled booking was not re-booked or filled, and
- the booking is from a resident of metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire, or from interstate.
Applications are open from 13 July 2020 until the end of the current lockdown or when funds are exhausted.