New fund supporting regional accommodation providers

Published: 2 July 2020

The Victorian Government is supporting regional accommodation businesses affected by restrictions placed on some metropolitan suburbs with a fund to assist operators who will lose income due to cancelled bookings.

Announced today, payments from a $5 million fund would be made available to regional businesses including motels, caravan parks and short-term rentals such as Airbnb properties that could demonstrate losses due to the new restrictions required to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Payments of up to $225 per cancelled booked night will be paid, with conditions including that full refunds are provided to customers and no cancellation fees are levied.

The fund will ensure that families who had booked holidays in rural and regional Victoria and now have to cancel, through no fault of their own, will not be out of pocket.

Accommodation businesses in 48 regional local government areas as well as the Yarra Ranges and the Mornington Peninsula shires will be covered for eligible bookings that were received from restricted postcodes 3012, 3021, 3032, 3038, 3042, 3046, 3047, 3055, 3060 and 3064 by 3pm on 30 June for the period 1 July to 29 July.

For Victorians who are still able to travel to regional areas, the government has provided 4800 infrared thermometers to local councils for distribution, prioritising accommodation providers with communal facilities in the High Country, the Alps and the Great Ocean Road.

This will allow accommodation providers to take a guest’s temperature on check-in, allowing the businesses and their staff to operate with the knowledge that guests are not presenting with a fever, which is one of the symptoms of coronavirus.

As all Victorians with symptoms are being asked to stay home, accommodation providers may ask guests displaying symptoms on arrival to return to their home, if possible.

Applications for the fund will open on 13 July 2020. However, accommodation operators in regional Victoria can register for more information from today on the Business Victoria website.