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Regional Tourism Investment Fund

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Grants between $100,000 to $5 million are available to enhance visitor experiences, increase tourism spending, and create new jobs within local communities across regional Victoria.

What is the Regional Tourism Investment Fund (RTIF)?

The Regional Tourism Investment Fund 2024 (RTIF) is an initiative by the Victorian Government designed to support high-potential tourism infrastructure projects across regional Victoria. This program aims to enhance visitor experiences, increase tourism spending, and create new jobs within local communities.

RTIF level of support

The RTIF provides funding through three streams:

  • Stream 1: Small-scale projects – from $100,000 to $1,000,000.
  • Stream 2: Large-scale projects – from $1,000,001 to $5,000,000.
  • Stream 3: Accommodation Uplift – from $500,000 to $2,000,000.

Co-contribution: Range from 20% to 66% depending on applicant entity type.

RTIF important dates

  • Application Deadline: 19 July 2024 at 2:00 pm
  • Outcomes Announced: November 2024
  • Grant Agreements Executed: December 2024

Projects must be “shovel-ready” and commence construction within 9 months of executing the Grant Agreement, with completion by 30 June 2027.

RTIF objectives

The primary objectives of the RTIF are to:

  • Deliver strategic tourism infrastructure and accommodation projects that increase visitation, enhance visitor experiences, and extend the duration of stays.
  • Support year-round visitation and encourage dispersal across regional Victoria.
  • Leverage private sector investment in public tourism infrastructure.
  • Create new jobs and improve outcomes for Victoria’s visitor economy.

Projects eligible for RTIF support

  • Stream 1: Small-scale projects – for new small infrastructure or enhancements to existing infrastructure that build on the current visitor experience.
  • Stream 2: Large-scale projects – for new infrastructure that supports visitor experiences.
  • Stream 3: Accommodation Uplift – for the revitalisation of existing accommodation offerings to enhance the overall visitor experience and align with modern visitor expectations.

Projects must be located within designated LGA’s – refer guidelines.

Examples projects include:

Stream 1:

  • Enhancement to a cellar door
  • Extensions to wildlife sanctuaries
  • Smaller-scale accommodation options, such as new on-site eco-pods
  • Development of interpretive garden, parks, cultural works

Stream 2:

  • Major extensions to a restaurant dining area that increases seating capacity
  • Extensions and/or redevelopment at a wildlife sanctuary
  • Development of a new museum or gallery
  • Construction of new accommodation offerings
  • Development of a new wellness retreat.

Stream 3:

  • works to uplift and modernise a 2-star motel to 3.5-stars
  • works to improve amenities at camp/caravan sites
  • upgrades to lodgings to meet a demonstrated ‘luxury’ market need
  • works on shared or private spaces that increases accessibility for all user groups.

This may be achieved through a combination of activities such as:

  • increasing comfort through bedroom and bathroom upgrades
  • revitalising rooms and shared spaces to create a unique accommodation offering
  • improvements to multipurpose areas that contribute to a better visitor experience (pools, barbeque spaces, shower amenities, dining rooms etc)
  • accessibility modifications e.g. modifications to showers and vanities, door widening, installation of hoists, ramps and paths.

Activities must be part of a larger project that increases the appeal of the entire accommodation site.

Ineligible projects

The following projects will not be considered for funding under the RTIF:

  • Project planning for infrastructure projects such as a feasibility study, demand study, or a business case to enable prospective applications to investigate the technical and or economic viability of an infrastructure project (design and construction projects may be considered)
  • Local strategic planning including economic development strategies and plans for future growth and infrastructure needs
  • 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 e.g. where construction commences prior to December 2024
  • Standalone projects purchasing plant machinery and equipment
  • Projects that are considered core business for local government. See page 13 of the guidelines for examples.

Ineligible expenses

The following expenses will not be funded under the RTIF:

  • General business operating costs and administrative running costs
  • Capital expenses such as purchasing assets for everyday business activities (e.g. drinking glasses for a new cellar door, linen for bedding)
  • Purchase of non-fixed equipment and furnishings (e.g. dining tables, beds)
  • Marketing, advertising, or product promotion including signage that is outside of a broader infrastructure project such as wayfinding/ interpretive signage
  • Maintenance of existing infrastructure / assets
  • Repair of facilities where the damage can be or should have been covered by insurance
  • Staff wages, training and development costs
  • Purchase of land.

Project priority focus areas

Eligible projects must align with one or more of the five product priority areas identified in Experience Victoria 2033 (EV33):

  1. First Peoples-led experiences: Immersive cultural experiences and storytelling settings.
  2. Wellness: Mindfulness retreats, wellness resorts, and natural springs.
  3. Arts and Culture: Museums, multicultural centres, and public art installations.
  4. Food and Drink: Culinary experiences highlighting local produce.
  5. Nature: Nature-based accommodation and outdoor trails.

Other RTIF important details that you will need to know

Applicants must be one of the following types of entities to apply:

  • Private sector proponents (defined as a privatelyowned or commercial organisation that has overall control and responsibility for a project that is predominantly funded through private capital)
  • Local and State Government entities, based in Victoria including Public Land Managers, Land Management Authorities and Committees of Management, Local Government Authorities, and a Victorian Alpine Resort.
  • 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, Aboriginal organisations and groups, and Aboriginal-owned businesses

 

In addition, to be eligible for funding applicants must:

  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN), and
  • Provide audited financial reports for the past 3 years.

 

The following applicants/entities are not eligible to apply:

  • Unincorporated organisations or joint ventures (unless under an auspice arrangement)
  • Individuals (Sole Traders)
  • Utility and services providers
  • Water corporations
  • Commonwealth Government owned entities
  • Businesses who are not able to meet the mandatory financial requirements

 

Applications will be assessed based on the following criteria:

  1. Project Need and Alignment (30%)
  2. Project Readiness and Deliverability (25%)
  3. Strategic Alignment (20%)
  4. Capability and Expertise (15%)
  5. Value for Money (5%)
  6. Support for Traditional Owner Organisations and Businesses (5%)

 

Environmental and Accessibility Considerations: Projects should incorporate Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) and Universal Design (UD) principles where possible.

Applicants must:

  • Read and understand the guidelines.
  • Ensure eligibility for the funding. Applicants that do not meet all the eligibility criteria will not be considered.
  • Deliver the project as outlined in the application.
  • Provide complete information requirements.

 

Applicants need to gather the following:

  • Detailed project management plan, including risk management, budget, and governance structure.
  • Evidence of financial stability and co-contribution commitments.
  • Letters of support from relevant stakeholders.
  • Detailed design package and statutory planning approvals.

 

GrantHelper takes all the hard work and effort out of making a grant application – Register your interest for a free no obligation discussion.

All applications must be submitted via grants.business.vic.gov.au.

Register your interest here with GrantHelper to explore your alignment with this grant and how we can assist you to increase your chances of success.

RTIF resources

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