News State Victoria News Website for free travel vouchers crashes under huge demand

Website for free travel vouchers crashes under huge demand

victorian tourism voucher
The travel vouchers are limited to one per household, and people must spend at least $400 on a regional holiday to make a claim. Photo: Getty
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The Victorian government’s regional travel voucher scheme website has crashed due to the large number of would-be holidaymakers trying to apply for the $200 discount.

The vouchers were announced on Thursday as an initiative to encourage people to travel to regional Victoria this summer.

But at 10am on Friday, the time the first 40,000 vouchers were supposed to be released, the Business Victoria website displayed an internal server error message for many users.

Those who did manage to make it onto the website were unable to find the “apply now” button to register for the scheme for almost an hour.

A further error message was found once the applications opened, informing users the government’s Salesforce servers were “temporarily unable to respond”.

“Business Victoria is experiencing heavy demand for regional travel vouchers, which has resulted in the application page going offline,” a spokesperson told the ABC.

“Business Victoria is working to resolve this issue.”

victoria travel vouchers
Once applications were finally accessible, users got another error message. Photo: ABC News

On Thursday, Tourism Minister Martin Pakula said he expected there would be very high demand for the vouchers, which were to be issued on a first come, first served basis.

“For this first tranche, I would expect demand to outstrip supply. That’s been the experience in other parts of the country,” he said on Thursday.

“We’ve tried to be generous but 40,000 is the limit for the first tranche and each tranche.”

The vouchers are limited to one per household, and travellers will be required to spend at least two nights in paid accommodation in regional Victoria.

People can apply for the vouchers even if they’ve already booked their accommodation.

Travel to the Mornington Peninsula and the Yarra Valley is eligible to be redeemed, even though parts of those areas were included in metropolitan Melbourne during the Stage 4 lockdown.