VIC Regional Tourism Investment Fund 2024

VIC Regional Tourism Investment Fund 2024

  • Applications are open until 19 July 2024.
  • The fund offers three grant streams:
    • Stream 1: Small-scale projects – funding ranging from $100,000 to $1 million.
    • Stream 2: Large-scale projects – funding ranging from $1,000,001 to $5 million.
    • Stream 3: Accommodation uplift – funding ranging from $500,000 to $2 million.

The Regional Tourism Investment Fund (RTIF) 2024 supports new and innovative tourism infrastructure projects in regional and rural Victoria. The aim is to increase year-round visitation, enhance the quality of experiences, and extend visitors' length of stay.

Key Requirements

The funding prioritises the five product priorities outlined in Experience Victoria 2033: First Peoples’ led experiences, wellness, arts and culture, food and drink, and nature.
Each applicant is permitted to submit only one application, choosing from Stream 1, 2, or 3.
Projects situated within the designated Local Government Authority areas are eligible for application.
  • Tier 1 locations – Local Government Areas: Ballarat, Greater Bendigo, Greater Geelong, Greater Shepparton, Horsham, Latrobe, Mildura, Mornington Peninsula, Nillumbik, Wangaratta, Warrnambool, Wodonga, Yarra Ranges.
  • Tier 2 locations – Local Government Areas and Alpine Resorts: Alpine, Ararat, Bass Coast, Baw Baw, Benalla, Buloke, Campaspe, Central Goldfields, Colac Otway, Corangamite, East Gippsland, Falls Creek, Gannawarra, Glenelg, Golden Plains, Hepburn, Hindmarsh, Indigo, Loddon, Macedon Ranges, Mansfield, Mitchell, Moira, Moorabool, Mount Alexander, Mount Buller and Mount Stirling, Mount Hotham, Moyne, Murrindindi, Northern Grampians, Pyrenees, Queenscliffe, Southern Alpine (Lake Mountain and Mount Baw Baw), Southern Grampians, South Gippsland, Strathbogie, Surf Coast, Swan Hill, Towong
    Wellington, West Wimmera, Yarriambiack.
Funding ratios
  • Private applicants: Private sector proponents
    • Maximum funding ratios for co-contributions: Up to RTIF $1:$2 applicant
      Example: RTIF grant amount $100,000, applicant co-contribution $200,000. Total project cost $300,000
  • Public, not-for-profit: Local and State Government entities, incorporated associations, not-for-profit organisations
    • Maximum funding ratios for co-contributions:
      • Tier 1 location: Up to RTIF $2:$1 applicant
        Example: RTIF grant amount $100,000, applicant co-contribution $50,000. Total project cost $150,000
      • Tier 2 location: Up to RTIF $3:$1 applicant
        Example: RTIF grant amount $100,000, applicant co-contribution $33,333. Total project cost $133,333
  • Traditional Owner applicants: Traditional Owner corporations, Aboriginal owned organisations and groups
    • Maximum funding ratios for co-contributions: Up to RTIF $4:$1 applicant
      Example: RTIF grant amount $100,000, applicant co-contribution $25,000. Total project cost $125,000

What is eligible for funding?

Stream 1: Small-Scale Projects

Stream 1 focuses on capitalising on opportunities unique to a town or region. It aims to enhance smaller-scale tourism infrastructure, either by developing new facilities or revitalising existing ones, to improve usability and quality and attract new visitors.

Examples include enhancing cellar doors, extending wildlife sanctuaries, introducing smaller-scale accommodation options like eco-pods, and developing interpretive gardens, parks, and cultural works.

Stream 2: Large-Scale Projects

Stream 2 aims to support the development of new infrastructure that holds strategic significance and enhances unique tourism experiences in regional destinations. Projects must align with one or more product priority areas outlined and showcase innovative offerings that enrich Victoria’s tourism landscape, delivering substantial benefits to regional areas.

Examples include establishing new restaurant dining areas at wineries, introducing exhibits at wildlife sanctuaries, creating museums or galleries, constructing new accommodation options, and developing wellness retreats.

Additionally, applications addressing site constraints hindering broader tourism infrastructure development, such as road construction or utility services, will be considered, provided they are part of a larger project leveraging tourism investment rather than standalone initiatives.

Stream 3: Accommodation Uplift

Stream 3 focuses on revitalising existing accommodation to meet modern visitor expectations. Applicants must demonstrate demand for the upgraded accommodation, including potential increases in visitor numbers, types, and length of stay. They should also illustrate how the upgrade not only benefits their business but enhances the overall visitor experience in the town or region. Projects should align with the region’s unique visitor experience and product priority areas, with a clear connection between demand from these experiences and the proposed upgrades. Preference will be given to upgrades that improve accommodation star ratings and accessibility.

Eligible projects include modernisation works, amenities improvements at camp/caravan sites, upgrades to meet luxury market needs, and enhancements to shared spaces for better accessibility. Activities may involve bedroom and bathroom upgrades, revitalising rooms to create unique offerings, improving multipurpose areas like swimming pools and dining rooms, and implementing accessibility modifications to meet DDA requirements, such as shower modifications, door widening, and installation of ramps and paths.

What companies are eligible for funding?

Applicants eligible to apply include private sector proponents, local and state government entities in Victoria such as public land managers, land management authorities, local government authorities, and Victorian Alpine Resorts, as well as state or local government-owned entities, incorporated associations, not-for-profit organisations including community groups, and Traditional Owner Corporations, Aboriginal organisations, and businesses.

To qualify for funding, applicants must possess an Australian Business Number (ABN) and provide audited financial reports for the past three years. Auspice arrangements may be considered for unincorporated entities, while meeting all other eligibility criteria remains imperative for both the applicant and the proposed project.

Traditional Owner Corporations, organisations, groups, and Aboriginal-owned businesses applying must be registered with Consumer Affairs Victoria, the Office of the Register of Indigenous Corporations, or the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. Alternatively, they can be a body corporate constituted under section 8 of the Aboriginal Lands Act 1970 (Vic).

Is this grant competitive or entitlement-based?

Competitive. Your application will be assessed among other applications by a judging panel.

How can I increase my chances of winning this grant?

By engaging an accredited government grants consultant, such as Avant Group.

Competitive grants often require significant business case development and project analysis to support the application, this may include detailed presentations supporting the project’s merit, projected sales, cost-benefit analysis and more.

As part of your engagement with Avant Group, your account manager will assess the required documents and will provide the following as needed to support your grant submission.

Grant application writeup including a detailed presentation illustrating how the grant funding will contribute to your project, how the funding will contribute to the project’s budget, a project milestone plan, delivery timeline, impact on employment if applicable and a breakdown of the management and leadership team for the project

  • Industry analysis presentation
  • Competitor Analysis Presentation
  • Marketing and Sales Analysis Presentation
  • 3-5 year Cashflow Forecast
  • 3-5 year Balance Sheet Forecast
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis of Grant Funding
  • End-to-end grant application including information collating, analysis and application writing
  • CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) cost-benefit analysis
  • Stakeholder relations and Risk Mitigation Plans
  • Any other relevant forecasting that will support your application

How can I get help with my application? Or know if I’m likely to win funding?

Avant Group offers a no-obligation assessment of your eligibility for funding and will assess your likelihood of a successful grant application.