The Tasmanian Government’s travel voucher scheme has closed, with the $7.5 million program fully subscribed within an hour of opening.
Many people reported issues with the site after the scheme opened at 9am on Monday, with some unable to get through or experiencing delays with the site loading.
One person trying to register waited more than half an hour before being told that “unfortunately, it seems we were too popular”.
“The voucher program is currently fully registered and no further vouchers are available for registration at this time,” the site said.
It did however suggest more vouchers may be made available.
On the ABC Hobart Facebook page, users reported having difficulty accessing the site as soon as registrations opened.
“9.02 and website crashed,” one person wrote, before later confirming they were able to get a voucher.
“Still spinning, spinning and waiting, waiting,” wrote another.
The scheme was designed to get people travelling around Tasmania mid-week, and offers rebates of between $100 and $150 a night for accommodation for a maximum of two nights depending on eligibility, as well as $50 per person towards tourism experiences.
People will pay and undertake their travel activity, and then claim the value of their vouchers using their receipts for eligible accommodation or an eligible experience.
Tourism Tasmania chief executive John Fitzgerald predicted “a frenzy” online as Tasmanians registered for vouchers.
Mr Fitzgerald told ABC Radio Hobart he hoped everyone who registered was serious about travelling in the state.
He said the vouchers would need to be monitored to ensure people who successfully registered did use them.
“I’d like to think that people who jump on and get the vouchers are serious about travel. I think we’ve done our best to explain the scheme to people,” he said.
“This is about supporting our regional economies, and our urban economies, and our tourism sector to get them through this difficult time.”