I’m going to level with you: as a born-and-raised South Australian, I was essentially glued to yesterday’s announcement that the state is entering a new six-day coronavirus shutdown. I was so preoccupied by Adelaide’s COVID-19 cluster and its ramifications that I almost forgot I now live in Melbourne, a city which is only just emerging from similar restrictions. All of this is to say that I blanked on the news that Victoria will soon offer $200 vouchers enticing folks to holiday outside of the city. If I can’t hike back to Adelaide over Christmas, I might just take this offer up.

In case you missed it, as I did, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday announced the voucher scheme as the focal point of a $465 million package designed to boost Victoria’s tourism sector after a supremely shithouse year.

In a statement, Andrews said the upcoming state budget will apportion $28 million to the scheme, equating to 120,000 intrastate travel vouchers.

Tourists will be allowed to apply for those sweet vouchers if they spend more than $400 on accomodation, tours, and other stuff you’d associate with the words ‘regional holiday’.

The scheme is expected to roll around from December.

The initiative mirrors elements of New South Wales’ push to get diners dining again, and the move to offer punters $100 vouchers to eat, drink (non-alcoholic beverages), and be merry.

In addition, Victoria will also throw $146 million at improved infrastructure along the Great Ocean Road, while a cool $18.5 million has been set aside to sure up tourism in the Gippsland region, which was ravaged over the 2019-2020 bushfire season.

Tourism operators in the region said business had dropped in the aftermath of the fires, so handing punters an incentive to head on over seems like a pretty nice deal.

Again, should Victoria’s just-announced hard border with South Australia stay in place for too much longer, I can absolutely see myself grabbing onto $200 of ‘get lost’ money and hooning down to Torquay. Catch you then, folks.

Image: VW Pics / Getty Images