Leading Tasmanian economist Saul Eslake, who first flagged the idea of a travel voucher, says people should be allowed to sell them to ensure they get used.
Premier Peter Gutwein announced Tasmanians who travel outside their municipality to stay midweek in commercial accommodation will receive up to $100 towards the cost of a room and $50 for booking a tourism experience.
The $7.5 million Make Yourself At Home package is aimed at helping tourism and hospitality businesses.
The details are still to be outlined.
Mr Eslake, who suggested the voucher in an interview with the UK Daily Mail, said the voucher would help businesses but fears more will close because of the extended border closure.
“There obviously is a risk that the extended border closure means that some more businesses may not survive,” he said.
“The idea behind a voucher is that it is a much better way of ensuring that any handout the government provides is spent where it is most needed, and when it is most needed.
“So if the government gives each household a ‘voucher’ worth $100 which can only be used to help pay for hotel accommodation then that ensures that the cash is spent in ways that helps the tourist industry, rather than being saved or used to pay down debt.
“Stipulating that the voucher has a use-by date (eg if you don’t spend it before 1st December it expires worthless) maximizes the chance that the money will be spent at a time when the tourist industry most needs it.
“In my view the vouchers should be tradeable so that for example a household which for some reason won’t be able to use the voucher before the expiry date can sell it to another household which can use it.
“This ensures that the voucher sent to the household which can’t use it, still gets spent in ways that benefit the industry which needs it most.”
However, leading barrister, author and commentator Greg Barns SC has questioned the voucher scheme.
“The stimulus for people to holiday here is too small to make any real difference,” Mr Barns said.
“It’s one meal for a family of four!
“What the Premier should do is balance economic and social concerns with health issues. He does not do that.”
The Northern Territory Government introduced a tourism voucher scheme with more than 26,000 vouchers worth $200 available.