What is the Enabling Tourism Fund?

This competitive round of the Enabling Tourism Fund has been designed to support high-potential regional and rural Victorian tourism initiatives through the project development and market-testing phase to provide the solid foundation project’s need to attract private-sector investment.

How much funding is available under this round of the Enabling Tourism Fund?

The fund will provide grants up to $500,000 per project, with a minimum funding amount of $20,000 per project, focussing on the four growth sectors identified in the Visitor Economy Recovery and Reform Plan – nature, epicurean, arts and culture, and First Peoples’ led experiences.

Who is eligible to apply for funding under this round of the Enabling Tourism Fund?

Applicants must be one of the following types of entities to apply under the Enabling Tourism Fund:

  • private sector proponents (defined as an individual, privately-owned or commercial organisation that has overall control and responsibility for a project that is predominantly funded through private capital)
  • Local and State Government entities, including Public Land Managers, Land Management Authorities and Committees of Management, Local Government Authorities, Alpine Resort Management Boards, State or Local Government owned entities
  • incorporated associations
  • not-for-profit organisations, including community groups that are an incorporated body, cooperative or association
  • traditional Owner Corporations, organisations and groups, and Aboriginal-owned businesses.

Eligible applicants must also:

  • be an incorporated body, cooperative or association (including business associations)
  • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be financial solvent.

Where an entity is not incorporated, an auspicing arrangement may be considered.

Who is ineligible to apply for funding under this fund?

Businesses that are not eligible for funding under this round of the Enabling Tourism Fund include:

  • unincorporated organisations or joint ventures (unless under an auspice arrangement)
  • utility and services providers
  • water corporations
  • Commonwealth Government owned entities.

What activities are eligible under this round of the Enabling Tourism Fund?

The following activities are eligible for funding under this round of the Enabling Tourism Fund:

  • business case development
  • feasibility studies and master planning
  • detailed design
  • funding strategy development
  • pilot projects and market testing*
  • site investigations (for example, geotechnical, heritage, approvals)
  • quantity surveying/cost consulting
  • operational viability studies
  • information to promote investment partnering opportunities (go to market approaches)
  • other activities required to progress tourism-related infrastructure projects to investment-ready status.

* For pilot projects to be considered, proponents must demonstrate that the pilot is a key step in testing the viability of a larger scale project with significant tourism outcomes.

What activities are ineligible under this round of the Enabling Tourism Fund?

Activities that are ineligible for funding under this round of the Enabling Tourism Fund include:

  • capital and infrastructure expenses
  • investigative work that is not demonstrably part of a broader project
  • marketing, advertising, or product promotion including signage
  • retrospective funding, where activities have been completed or have started prior to receiving funding approval.

What projects are eligible under this round of the Enabling Tourism Fund?

To be eligible for funding under this round of the Enabling Tourism Fund, a project must demonstrate strategic investment or support visitation outcomes in one or more of the following Visitor Economy Recovery and Reform Plan priority experience pillars: nature, epicurean, arts and culture; and First Peoples’ led experiences, and meet the objectives of the fund, which are:

  • build a strong pipeline of demand-driving public and private tourism infrastructure projects and progress them towards investment-ready status
  • develop strategic tourism infrastructure projects that will increase visitation, improve quality of customer experience, and increase visitor yield and length of stay
  • develop projects that broaden Victoria’s tourism offering, and support and encourage year-round visitation and dispersal across regional Victoria
  • leverage and facilitate private sector investment, including through strengthening public tourism infrastructure.

What projects are ineligible under this round of the Enabling Tourism Fund?

Projects that are ineligible for funding under this fund include:

  • projects that require ongoing funding from the Victorian Government for operation or maintenance
  • retrospective funding, where projects have been completed or have started prior to receiving funding approval
  • projects that are only purchasing plant and equipment
  • projects that are considered core business for local government (for example but not limited to: construction of carparks and toilets unless they are a component part supporting a broader tourism project, construction and maintenance of Visitor Information Centres and enabling infrastructure not directly linked to unlocking private investment).

What are the key dates for this fund?

The indicative key assessment dates for this round of the Enabling Tourism Fund are:

  • Applications open: 25 January 2022
  • Applications close: 4 March 2022
  • Assessment and approvals process: March to April
  • Successful activities announced: Mid to late April
  • Grant Agreements finalised: by 30 June 2022
  • Activity commencement: by 30 September 2022
  • Final activity completion: by 30 June 2023
  • Acquittal report due: by 30 September 2023

What are the eligible activity and project locations under this fund?

Activities and projects delivered within the following locations can apply for funding through this round of the Enabling Tourism Fund, if they meet the eligibility criteria.

  • Alpine
  • Ararat
  • Ballarat
  • Bass Coast
  • Baw Baw
  • Benalla
  • Buloke
  • Campaspe
  • Central Goldfields
  • Colac Otway
  • Corangamite
  • East Gippsland
  • Falls Creek
  • Gannawarra
  • Glenelg
  • Golden Plains
  • Greater Bendigo
  • Greater Geelong
  • Greater Shepparton
  • Hepburn
  • Horsham
  • Hindmarsh
  • Indigo
  • Latrobe
  • Loddon
  • Macedon Ranges
  • Mansfield
  • Mildura
  • Mitchell
  • Moira
  • Moorabool
  • Mornington Peninsula
  • Mount Alexander
  • Mount Buller & Mount Stirling
  • Mount Hotham
  • Moyne
  • Murrindindi
  • Nillumbik
  • Northern Grampians
  • Pyrenees
  • Queenscliffe
  • Southern Alpine (Lake Mountain & Mount Baw Baw)
  • Southern Grampians
  • South Gippsland
  • Strathbogie
  • Surf Coast
  • Swan Hill
  • Towong
  • Wangaratta
  • Warrnambool
  • Wellington
  • West Wimmera
  • Wodonga
  • Yarriambiack
  • Yarra Ranges

What documents are required when submitting an application for this fund?

The following mandatory documentation is required when submitting an application for funding under this round of the Enabling Tourism Fund:

  • project management plan (which must include scope of works, objectives, outcomes and deliverables, risk management plan, and itemised project budget)
  • evidence of the organisation’s ability to finance the co-contribution
  • for grants over $50,000, evidence of financial stability*, as a minimum:
    • Audited Financial Reports for the last three financial years. This should be the ‘final accounts’ with Directors’ Report and Declaration and should include Profit & Loss Statement, Balance Sheet, Cash Flows, and notes to the accounts. If accounts are not audited, unaudited accounts from an Accountant will be accepted.
    • if the latest financial report is more than six months old, up-to-date Management or Interim Accounts for the current year including Profit & Loss Statement and Balance Sheet, and, in the case of public listed corporations, a half yearly financial report
    • current Business Plan, or project proposal
    • company’s financial projections for the next three financial years, including Profit & Loss and Cash Flow.
  • where an auspice organisation is required, a statutory declaration confirming this organisation has agreed to the activity.

Are projects eligible for funding if they have already received funding in the earlier round of the Enabling Tourism Fund announced in August?

Yes, provided that the request is for a component that is separate and distinct from what has already been funded.

Eligibility will be assessed for activities that are considered the next phase of works and required to bring the project to investment ready status.

Why are only four of the six priority experience pillars within the Visitor Economy Recovery and Reform Plan in scope for the fund?

The Enabling Tourism Fund focuses on projects that drive strategic investment or support visitation outcomes within nature, First Peoples’, epicurean and arts and culture led experiences. Design, fashion and retail, and sport and events focused projects are being targeted through other Victorian Government investments.

Projects that are focused around either of these two pillars may still be eligible for the fund, provided they can demonstrate a clear link to visitation outcomes within one of the four priority pillars.