Victorian Tourism Voucher Website Crashes Hours After Going Live

Victorian Tourism Voucher Website Crashes Hours After Going Live
Memorial Arch of the Great Ocean Road in Victoria on March 24, 2015. (Indranil Mukherejee/AFP via Getty Images)
Alex Joseph
The Victorian government website offering 40, 000 regional tourist vouchers has crashed moments after going live as large numbers of holidaymakers scrambled to snap up the offer from the state government.

Registration for the $200 travel vouchers opened at 10 a.m. on Friday but those trying to apply for a voucher were told the site was "unable to process this request," and even Business Victoria's telephone service line was held up with long waiting times.

Business Victoria announced via a post on Twitter that the higher demand for the vouchers had forced them to temporarily removed the application button to allow those registering to complete their application.

"We are experiencing a high demand for the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme and have temporarily removed the ‘apply now’ button to allow those currently registering to complete their application. We are working to resolve this as soon as possible," they wrote.

The news of the failure was met with criticism as people took to Twitter to voice their frustrations.

Maria Abrahams said in a post that she was very disappointed and had been trying to register for the scheme since 9:30 am on Friday.

"Have been trying since 9.30 this morning. Very disappointing! I will continue to try, however, can you please notify when applications will open again?" Abrahams said.

Leader of the opposition, Liberal Party MP Michael O'Brien, who also met with an error message when applying wrote in a post on Twitter: " Still not working. If Labor can’t even give away travel vouchers, how can they be trusted to plan Victoria’s recovery?"
The $28 million Regional Travel Voucher Scheme was announced on Thursday, as part of a $465 million recovery package to reignite the tourism industry which has been severely hit by COVID-19 restrictions.

Successful applicants of the scheme will get back $200 if they spend $400 on accommodation, tours or other attractions in regional Victoria. But they must use their voucher between Dec. 12, 2020, and Jan. 22, 2021.

There will be 120,000 vouchers available in total with round two going live Jan. 20 and the third on March 30.

The online application platform uses Salesforce an American tech company also behind the states new QR code check-in system, which was introduced as an advancement to its contact tracing practices.