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Travellers from NSW
Victoria has introduced further measures to restrict entry from New South Wales due to the recent outbreak in the State. As of 11.59pm on Sunday 20 December:

  • Greater Sydney and the Central Coast have been designated as a ‘red zone’. This means people who live in these communities, or have visited these communities since 11 December 2020, cannot enter Victoria. Anyone from this zone found trying to enter Victoria in breach of this order will be subject to 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine.
  • The rest of regional New South Wales remains a green zone, but residents in these areas still need to apply for and receive a valid permit to enter Victoria.
  • Those living in local government areas along the border will not need a permit but will instead be able to use their driver’s license as a passport to travel between Victoria and New South Wales. Please see below the list of LGA’s in the border zone of Victoria and New South Wales.

Victoria: Alpine, Benalla, Bendigo, Buloke, Campaspe, East Gippsland, Gannawarra, Indigo, Loddon, Mildura, Moira, Shepparton, Swan Hill, Towong, Wangaratta, Wodonga and Yarriambiack.

NSW: Albury City, Balranald, Bega Valley, Berrigan, Broken Hill, Edward River, Federation, Greater Hume, Hay, Lockhart, Murray River, Murrumbidgee, Snowy Monaro, Snowy Valleys, Wagga Wagga, and Wentworth.

What does this mean for businesses?
There is no requirement, at this stage, for accommodation providers, restaurants or businesses to check permits or refuse service for people from New South Wales or who have travelled through New South Wales. However, as part of your own risk management, you may want to check with your guests whether they live or have visited the Northern Beaches or other NSW exposure areas.

Travellers from these areas, who were or have visited this zone since 11 December, and are in Victoria are being asked to be tested immediately and quarantine in their home or accommodation for 14 days from the date they left the area.

For more information on travel restrictions for New South Wales, click here.
For more information on the Border Crossing Permit, click here.

Melbourne’s Tourism Sentiment Tracker
The Visitor Economy team at City of Melbourne has been monitoring how our city is performing over time, providing monthly snapshots of the tourism sentiment for Melbourne. The data is obtained by analysing millions of online conversations from around the world through multiple online sources including social media, review websites and news outlets that reference Melbourne, and are further refined to understand how people feel about Melbourne as a destination. Please view below the reports for November:

COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program
Last week we informed you that the COVID Consumer Travel Support Program had opened. This is a grant to support travel agents and tour operators who have lost income because of COVID-19. We have now received further details about this program:

Criteria
Eligible travel agents and tour arranging service businesses are able to apply for a one-off taxable payment which is now open through the Commonwealth’s Services program portal. Payments will be scaled based on the turnover of the business, with a minimum payment of $1,500 for a business with a turnover of $50,000 up to a maximum payment of $100,000 for a business with a turnover of $20 million.

Eligible applicants
To be eligible for a payment, a business will need to meet the following requirements, amongst others:

  • Operating a business as either a travel agent or tour arrangement service provider prior to the announcement of the closure of international borders by the Prime Minister on 19 March 2020
  • Have lodged a 2018-19 income tax return
  • Have had an annual turnover starting from $50,000 up to a maximum of $20 million for the 2019 calendar year
  • Have received a payment for a JobKeeper fortnight ending in October 2020 – that is JobKeeper fortnight 14 (28 September 2020 to 11 October 2020) and JobKeeper fortnight 15 (12 October 2020 to 25 October 2020)
  • Provide evidence supporting you are a travel agent or tour operator by holding active incorporation or registration, as of 30 November 2020, with at least one of the following entities: AFTA, ATEC, CATO or a tourism peak industry body. Please note VTIC qualifies for the purposes of this program.

Applications will be accepted until midnight 13 March 2021 or until funds are exhausted. For more information and to apply, click here.

Wellbeing and Financial Assistance
Although many restrictions have now been lifted, and some businesses are experiencing the peak of summer, we know that the challenges aren’t yet over.

The Partners in Wellbeing Helpline is there to help small business owners and their employees manage feeling stressed and overwhelmed. The helpline has also been expanded to provide business owners under stress with free access to financial counsellors. The service is free and confidential.

The 1300 375 330 Helpline is available seven days a week from 9am to 10pm on weekdays and 9am to 5pm on weekends.

For more information, click here.

Welcoming a new Federal Tourism Minister
The Hon Dan Tehan MP has been appointed to the role of Federal Tourism Minister, replacing Simon Birmingham, who becomes Finance Minister following the retirement from Federal politics of Senator Mathias Cormann.

Minister Tehan has been a longtime supporter of the tourism industry demonstrated by his previous role as the Chair of the Coalition Friends of Tourism group which engages industry on government policy to help drive tourism growth and jobs across many electorates.

VTIC welcomes Minister Tehan to the role and we’re thrilled to see that we now have a Victorian Federal Member of Parliament as our Tourism Minister in Australia.

Industry Support Hub Updates
Data & Insights

  • National Visitor Survey Monthly Snapshot – September 2020
  • National Tourism Satellite 2019-20 – Australia’s tourism performance through an economic lens.

Learning

Marketing
New resources under your respective sector, ‘Planning your marketing’:

  • Business and Marketing planning
  • Your guide to bring your business online
  • Find your voice on social media
  • Video and photography

Risk Management
New risk management resource under your respective sector, ‘Managing Risks during COVID-19’

Ecommerce

Events

Wellbeing

  • Digital wellbeing
  • Adopt better habits with the science of wellbeing

Human Resources

VTIC office Christmas closure
Please note the VTIC office will be closing from COB on Wednesday 23 December and reopening on Monday 4 January.

The VTIC team wish you all a wonderful Christmas and hope that 2021 is a year filled with brighter times!

 

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