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Montevideo, January 29th 2023 - 22:38 UTC

 

 

Falklands extends Travel Credit Scheme to include domestic tourism accommodation

Friday, October 28th 2022 - 10:08 UTC
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The primary purpose of the scheme was to sustain the local tourism industry through a period with little or no international visitors (Pic Volunteer Point) The primary purpose of the scheme was to sustain the local tourism industry through a period with little or no international visitors (Pic Volunteer Point)

This week the Falkland Islands Executive Council (ExCo) approved the extension of the Travel Credits Scheme to include domestic tourism accommodation.

In response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism industry, the Falkland Islands Government (FIG) introduced a Tourism Recovery Incentive Program (TRIP) scheme, which provided an individual account for residents of the Falkland Islands to spend on domestic tourism during the summer seasons 2020/21 and 2021/22. The primary purpose of the scheme was to sustain the local tourism industry through a period with little or no international visitors, however a significant additional benefit was the opportunity for residents to explore what the Islands have to offer.

In July ExCo considered a proposal from the Falkland Islands Tourist Board to extend the eligible purposes of the Travel Credit Scheme to include domestic tourism accommodation. ExCo agreed that ‘further work should be undertaken to determine whether and how the Travel Credit Scheme could be amended to encourage local tourism, building on the popularity of TRIP’.

ExCo have now approved the proposal to extend the Travel Credit Scheme to allow claims to be submitted to meet the cost of domestic tourism accommodation. The changes to the scheme will not alter who is eligible for the scheme, the rate at which individuals accrue benefits under the scheme, or the total balances they have available to use.

The changes to the scheme will have the following key benefits:

• Encouraging domestic tourism so that Falkland Islanders can experience the full range of what the Islands have to offer, so reinforcing their understanding and attachment to the culture and heritage of the Islands.
• Improving access to the scheme to those on the lowest incomes who may have the greatest difficulty in being able to meet other costs associated with international travel, even with the support from the Travel Credit Scheme.
• Keeping more of the funding circulating within the Islands’ economy.

This change also supports commitments in the Islands Plan 2022-26 aimed at supporting the development of tourism as a key sector in the Falkland Islands economy, including refreshing ‘the vision for tourism across the Falkland Islands’ and reviewing ‘the tourism development strategy and improving local facilities to support the sector’.

Extending the Travel Credits Scheme to include domestic tourism accommodation will require legislative changes to the Travel Credit Scheme Ordinance 2019 and the Travel Credit Scheme Regulations 2019. Members agree that the changes should be introduced as soon as the necessary legislation is passed by the Assembly, and the consequent changes to guidance have been made and published, whilst noting that progress may be subject to resources available and other elements of that legislative program may take priority. The aim is to achieve this before the 2023/24 tourism season starts.

Tourism Portfolio Holder MLA Gavin Short said: “It is only right that we looked to build on the amazing success of the TRIP scheme to increase opportunities for domestic tourism. We are incredibly lucky to live in a country with such spectacular wildlife and scenery, and the changes to the Travel Credits Scheme will encourage people to make the most of these opportunities whilst supporting local businesses.”

For more information on the Travel Credit Scheme and how to apply visit: https://www.falklands.gov.fk/.../fin.../travel-credit-scheme

 

Categories: Tourism, Falkland Islands.

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