Industry welcomes Melbourne’s stimulus package
Tourism and business industry groups have hailed a plan to bring visitors back to downtown Melbourne with meal discounts of up to $ 150 as part of a $ 44 stimulus package. millions of dollars.
The Victorian government and the City of Melbourne will jointly fund initiatives to bring the city center back to life after its sixth COVID-19 lockdown, including a $ 5 million midweek meal rebate program.
Starting November 15, diners can get up to $ 150 off their bills at restaurants, cafes and bars across the city Monday through Thursday.
More than 200,000 discounts will be up for grabs, with refunds being finalized within five working days of the guests’ complaints.
An additional $ 10.4 million will be donated to help businesses trade outdoors and at night, $ 15.7 million to energize the city’s calendar of events, $ 14 million to revitalize public spaces and $ 3.6 million for improved corporate concierge service.
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said the $ 44 million package, which is part of a larger $ 200 million city revitalization fund, was designed to help Melbourne regain its vibrant food culture , wine and coffee.
“It is about recovering what we have lost,” he told reporters on Sunday.
Mayor Sally Capp said the city’s midweek pedestrian traffic remains down 50%, but another round of meal discounts will spur a rebound, as it brings the city’s Christmas festivities forward. two weeks.
Victoria Tourism Industry Council chief executive Felicia Mariani said Melbourne had taken on 85% of the state’s total tourism losses this year and the package would reactivate the city.
“For Victoria to make a full recovery, we need to see a strong recovery in our capital,” said Ms Mariani.
Paul Guerra, head of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the cash injection would bring the city back to life.
âBusinesses have been tough over the past 20 months,â he said.
“It’s the stimulus they’ve been looking forward to to make sure they’re not only welcoming people, but welcoming people day and night.”
But opposition gambling and alcohol regulation spokeswoman Steph Ryan said the discounted meals did not solve “chronic” staff shortages in the industry and renewed calls for more. registration bonuses for new hotel workers.
Victoria on Sunday recorded 1,173 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and nine additional deaths.