By Luke Voogt
Thousands of Victorians have claimed $1 million worth of free Queenscliff-Sorrento ferry trips, snapping up 20,000 tickets in the first day of a state-wide giveaway.
The aspiring nautical travellers claimed 1000 tickets in the first 30 minutes of the November 18-21 giveaway, according to Searoad Ferries.
In total the company gave away 38,484 tickets, with internet traffic to its website booming and calls quadrupling during the first day of the promotion.
“It was fantastic to see the overwhelmingly positive response to this giveaway – it was something Victorians obviously needed,” Searoad Ferries chief executive officer Matt McDonald said.
“The unexpected outcome was the joy it gave our staff to be a part of this and the buzz it created after such a quiet 34 weeks.”
Mr McDonald expected the travellers to provide a welcome economic boost to Queenscliff, Sorrento and nearby communities.
“After a difficult year for businesses in our towns and regions, we are excited to see a flood of visitors and hopefully an injection of some well-needed spend into these communities,” he said.
“Since restrictions eased on November 9, we have seen a return of passenger and vehicle numbers to about 80 per cent of last year’s traffic.
“This is great sign of things to come, particularly as we head into summer.”