The tourism and business sectors have today welcomed the Victorian Government’s proposed introduction of a discounted public transport option for international students from 2015.
Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) Chief Executive Dianne Smith says, “A discounted ticketing option for international students has long been a priority for the tourism industry in order to attract and retain students from key international tourism markets.
“The scheme goes some way to addressing this challenge and is all the more timely given that states like NSW already provide discounts up to 35 per cent.
“Extending the discount for regional travel is a real win and will increase our competitive advantage over other states.”
The need for a public transport fare discount for international students was also a key recommendation made at VECCI’s recent Victoria Summit which announced a number of reforms needed to ensure Victoria remains a competitive destination of choice.
VECCI Chief Executive Mark Stone says, “Melbourne’s public transport ticketing system is difficult and expensive for visitors to use. The introduction of discounted travel for international students helps make Victoria a better place to do business.
“We call on the Government to commence the program before 2015, and to consider other options to an upfront payment for the annual pass as many students may find this costly.
“It is also preferable that education providers do not have to contribute to the cost of the scheme.
“The benefits international students bring to the state extends well beyond their direct expenditure on education services. They contribute to our cultural diversity, retail, tourism and hospitality spending, and add value to many employers through the injection of new skills, ideas and experience.”
Both organisations added that improved information on where Myki tickets and visitor packs can be purchased should be addressed, including multilingual signage, and an increased number of sellers. A disposable, one-day ticketing option should also be considered.