Tourism group welcomes grant boost

May 25, 2024 BY

Visitor attraction: The Victorian Tourism Industry Council has welcomed the news of continued State funding for the Regional Tourism Investment Fund which will be delivered in three streams. Photo: FILE

WITH the details of the State Government’s 2024/25 budget recently released, Victoria’s top tourism body has welcomed the news of further financial support for the sector.

The Victorian Tourism Industry Council praised the inclusion of $62 million for the continuation of the Regional Tourism Investment Fund.

The program will allow VTIC to continue providing grants for new tourism infrastructure projects in regional and rural Victoria.

CEO, Felicia Mariani said the RTIF has been a key financial driver for innovative tourism initiatives across the state and it’s great to see the program continued.

“The $62 million funding announced [last week] by government will provide an enormous boost to operators across regional Victoria in realising their vision for new and enhanced products and experiences,” she said.

“These developments will in turn serve to attract more visitors, extend their stay in the regions, and encourage greater spend into local economies across the state.”

Ms Mariani said funding for RTIF complements the additional support for the organisation’s Enabling Tourism Fund which was announced in early April.

“This funding announcement, when coupled with the $8 million recently announced as part of the Enabling Tourism Fund, brings the Government’s investment in regional tourism infrastructure planning and delivery to $70 million, which will be significant in helping to drive new audiences to explore our regional areas,” she said.

The RTIF program allocates grants of between $100,000 and $5 million for tourism projects, and applications are now open until Friday 19 July.

Ms Mariani said the budget allocation is a positive result of VTIC’s advocacy for a stronger Victorian tourism sector.

“VTIC is pleased to see that Government has listened and responded to the advocacy we have undertaken on behalf of industry to bolster the resources being made available for infrastructure development in this support package,” she said. “The RTIF program is one of the most successful grant programs that works to underpin the efforts of our sector in creating memorable experiences for visitors to Victoria.

“Creating these game-changing experiences in regional Victoria is critical for our state helping to improve dispersal of visitors to regional areas, particularly when it comes to drawing more visitation to our regional areas from interstate and international travellers to Victoria.”