Victorian government announces $8M fund to transform regional tourism landscape

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Victorian government announces $8M fund to transform regional tourism landscape

Words by Staff Writer

Applications for the Enabling Tourism Fund are now open for grants ranging from $20,000 to $500,000.

In a resounding boost for regional Victoria, Premier Jacinta Allan and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos has unveiled the latest wave of regional tourism initiatives under the Enabling Tourism Fund. With one in every 11 jobs in regional Victoria linked to tourism, the Allan Labor Government is doubling down on its commitment to fuel local economies.

The star of the show? The revamped Bendigo Planetarium, a celestial haven that now stands twice its original size thanks to the Regional Tourism Investment Fund. Premier Allan and Minister Dimopoulos kickstarted the latest phase of the Enabling Tourism Fund against the cosmic backdrop of this impressive planetarium.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here.

At the heart of the initiative is a substantial injection of up to $8 million into the regional tourism landscape, aimed at turning innovative ideas into concrete investments. This financial stimulus is not just a shot in the arm for the industry but a significant job creator.

The Enabling Tourism Fund, having already played a pivotal role in backing projects such as the Bendigo Art Gallery, is opening its coffers for the next round of applications. Businesses, not-for-profits, Traditional Owner organisations, and other visionaries can secure grants ranging from $20,000 to $500,000.

Divided into two streams, the first stream supports initial project concepts, facilitating feasibility studies and masterplans. The second stream dives into the nitty-gritty, funding detailed design packages, financing strategies, and community engagement plans. These twin streams are instrumental in transforming bold visions into tangible realities, ensuring that promising projects transition from the drawing board to groundbreaking ventures.

Guided by five priority experiences that epitomize Victoria’s allure – First Peoples-led experiences, wellness, arts and culture, food and drink, and nature – the Enabling Tourism Fund casts its net wide to capture the essence of what makes Victoria exceptional.

To ensure local operators are well-equipped to navigate this terrain, a comprehensive guide has been rolled out, designed to steer projects towards investment readiness, offering visitors an unparalleled experience and yielding an attractive return.

Premier Jacinta Allan underscored the significance of these initiatives, stating, “Regional Victoria has so much to offer and we want to add to the list, because more regional tourism means more regional jobs.”

Bendigo’s reinvigorated planetarium, with its state-of-the-art dome theatre and cutting-edge laser projector system, symbolises the kind of transformative projects that the Enabling Tourism Fund aims to foster.

Applications for the Enabling Tourism Fund are now open until Friday, 28 March 2024. For detailed information on grants and the new guide, savvy entrepreneurs and visionaries should navigate to