The launch of the second round of Tasmanian travel vouchers caused frustration on social media with reports of technical issues
The program is designed to support the tourism industry which is suffering from the effects of Covid-19 border restrictions
Comments on the ABC Hobart Facebook page show many people who tried to get a voucher logged in upon launch at 7pm, but the webpage did not load
Julie McGee said « 1/2 hour on 2 phones plus site online and nothing! Everything is frozen in 2 minutes »
« I tried for half an hour to find the record button I still can’t find it, « said Jess Bryce
At 8:05 p.m., a statement appeared on State Growth’s website that the program was closed
« Travel vouchers are fully registered and no other vouchers are available for registration, » he said
« There were a limited number of available in the $ 5 million second round, and once again the vouchers were very popular »
Prime Minister Peter Gutwein released a statement Wednesday evening, saying there had been « incredible demand » for the second round
« About 35,000 people, or about one in 15 Tasmanians, have logged in to sign up for a voucher, » he said.
« We thank the Tasmanians for their patience as the website and phone lines respond to significant demand
« Online registrations were fully taken out in just over an hour and phone lines are now also closed »
« I know the Tasmanians who missed out will be disappointed, but this initiative aims to support our tourism and hospitality industry and it has been met with great success by Tasmanians, » he said.
While the first round was launched in the morning, with many at work, this time the vouchers were promised to be available online or by phone between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Melinda Nichols failed to serve international tourists at her little pop-up cafe on the Tasmanian Peninsula in Tasmania this year
Although it hasn’t been so busy, locals have always stood up to support his business Many of them missed the first round of the Tasmanian government’s Make Yourself at Home travel vouchers
« People seem to be booking again, there is an upsurge in the number of people arriving and staying in accommodation on site, » Ms Nichols said
The passion of the Tasmanians at the moment and the commitment has been truly overwhelming they seem empowered by the fact that as long as we all do our best in Tasmania, we will keep going further «
Around 1,200 first-round travel vouchers have now been used, but Tasmanian Prime Minister Peter Gutwein said the true impact of the program would be known by the end of the school holidays
« We expect that to a large extent we will see most of them used during the school holiday period and obviously we will have a lot of refund requests after the school holiday period, » said M Gutwein
« My first comments are that for every dollar provided by the state government through a voucher, four more dollars are spent »
Director of the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo, John Hamilton recently reopened his wildlife preserve after six months of closure
He said while current clientele is ‘just a trickle’ compared to same time last year, number of Tasmanians exploring the state is raising morale among tour operators
« We send people from the north and northwest as well as, of course, a lot of people from Hobart and the surrounding area, so that brings people from all over Tasmania to visit other parts of the country. Tasmania, « said M Hamilton
Port Arthur Historic Site Director of Tourism Operations Anne McVilly agreed there had been an increase in attraction bookings since the program began
« This time last year we would have welcomed around 1,200 visitors per day, today we welcome 400, » she said
« So overall we’re down, but this time last year we had 100 Tasmanians visiting… so that’s great for our region, » she said
Linda Jackson is one of many Tasmanians who use the border closure as an excuse to explore Port Arthur
« The girls’ school trip was canceled in Port Arthur so we figured we were going to take them on a little school trip… it’s been about 20 years since I’ve been here for the last time, » Ms. Jackson said.
« It’s good to support local tourism and to see different beaches and coastlines and a bit of history elsewhere, » she said
Prime Minister said he hoped the second round of vouchers would boost the economy until the borders reopened
« I think our vouchers initiative is helping to stimulate demand and significantly support our businesses right now, » he said
The government is considering whether it might be able to open up to secure jurisdictions such as Western Australia, Queensland, Northern Territory, ACT, South Australia and possibly New Wales South by the end of October
M Gutwein said there will be a new border announcement by the end of next week
This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and BBC World Service which is copyrighted and may not be reproduced
AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)
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