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Sunday, 25 May 2020

Today, the Premier announced the easing of travel restrictions in Victoria from June 1.

This is no doubt welcome news for many accommodation operators, attractions and tourism businesses across our state.

To help give the industry more clarity about what this means for you, we’re working closely with the Victorian Government to develop sector-specific guidance materials for the tourism industry. This will include practical advice for tourism businesses and is due to be provided before restrictions ease on June 1.

RESTRICTIONS EASING FROM JUNE 1

  • From 11:59 pm on 31 May, overnight stays in accommodation and private residences can resume, subject to private gathering limits.
  • This will also apply to campgrounds and caravan parks – but only where there are no shared facilities like bathrooms or kitchens. That means facilities must be private (like cabins) or where there are no facilities (back country camping).
  • Entertainment and cultural venues like galleries, museums, drive-in cinemas and historic sites will be able to open their doors, alongside zoos and outdoor amusement parks. Physical distancing and a limit of up to 20 patrons per space will apply, and indoor venues will be required to keep customer contact details.
  • Non-food and drink market stalls will also be able to open.

RESTRICTIONS EASING FROM JUNE 22

If community transmission rates continue to remain low and testing rates stay high, the Victorian Government has announced it will look to further ease restrictions from 22 June.

  • Up to 50 people will be permitted in restaurants, cafes, galleries, museums and for the first time, cinemas and theatres.
  • The ski season will open on 22 June.
  • Restrictions on other spaces within pubs and clubs, such as public bars and gaming areas will remain in place throughout June, as will restrictions on food courts.
  • Existing physical distancing requirements will continue to apply, meaning each person will need four square metres of space, and tables will need to be spaced at least 1.5 metres apart.

To read today’s full announcement click here and for a summary restriction levels (including ‘what you can do’ FAQs) visit here.

CONSUMER SENTIMENT TRACKING

What is promising is that travellers are telling us that they’re optimistic for the future.

Since mid-February this year, Visit Victoria has been tracking consumer sentiment on COVID-19 on a weekly basis. Our latest data points to signs of a nation that is becoming more optimistic, while remaining its vigilance and understanding of the threat that the virus poses.

Almost 40 per cent of both our interstate and intrastate markets now think they will feel comfortable to make a domestic booking for travel in the next six months. This is up from 15 per cent five weeks ago. Australians know they can’t travel now, and they will not travel while it is unsafe to do so. But an increasing number of people are now thinking about when they can make their next domestic trip.

Read more about what this data means for Victoria’s visitor economy here.

SHOWCASING VICTORIA, VIRTUALLY

Our Visit Victoria team continues to develop and share organic content through our social channels including our Visit Melbourne Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. This is centred around the idea that while people can’t travel now, they can still dream, and sentiment has been really positive to date. We’ve created a digital film showcasing Melbourne which you can watch here.

The video with Phillip Island Nature Parks and BBC commentator, Andrew Cotter, is gaining international attention in global outlets. Watch it on our Facebook page here.

Key highlights of some of our activity to date include:

  • Impressions are in the millions, and engagements close to 100,000
  • Cross-stream efforts with industry have reached more than 500,000 people on our channels alone
  • Integration of local product into live streams
  • Several new pages of inspirational content are live on our websites, see: Virtual attractions, and Virtual family activities.
  • A page of downloadable Zoom backgrounds of iconic Victorian destinations.

Last week, my team and I participated in a number of industry forums – with VTIC and the Regional Tourism Boards (RTBs) – which provided an invaluable opportunity to provide an update on the current situation and hear the key issues and opportunities playing out across the sector.

While it continues to be a challenging time for our sector, we’re buoyed by the easing of restrictions and hope to turn people’s dreams of travel – particularly on a domestic front – into a reality when the time is right.

Kind regards,

Brendan McClements
CEO, Visit Victoria

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