Bus and coach operators are calling for the State Government to deliver a comprehensive plan to help South Australia’s tourism industry recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
It comes as the Tourism Industry Council of South Australia’s quarterly survey hit record lows in the March quarter amid the COVID-19 restrictions.
The bus and coach industry, which provides an important link in regional tourism, says it needs:
- Clear guidelines for private passenger services and Tour Operators to implement approved social distancing and cleaning protocols.
- Waive annual fees for buses with the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.
- Provide support for Tour Operators highly exposed to the international and interstate market to pivot their tours to South Australians.
- Significant increase in marketing to promote regional South Australia
- This is particularly urgent with suggestions restrictions could be eased within days, including allowing intrastate travel.
The TiCSA survey found business activity has fallen 55 per cent in the past quarter. The business outlook plummeted to less than 1 point, meaning almost all respondents expect conditions will be weaker in the coming quarter.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison
Promoting intrastate travel in South Australia would be welcome news, and it can be done safely.
Our bus and coach industry should not be forgotten when we are talking about tourism in South Australia.
Quotes attributable to Expanding Horizons general manager Heather Pascoe-Smith
Our industry has been devastatingly impacted by the government restrictions as a result of COVID-19
We want to work with the South Australian government to have a clear pathway to return to our mission of supporting regional South Australia through tourism.
Every day we are hearing from new and returning clients that they are keen to get moving. Whether it be to see the new silo art, to eat the oysters fresh from the sea at Coffin Bay or experience a traditional German lunch in Hahndorf. Every tour we support means more money spent in our regions
My industry is just keeping our head above water. We understand why we had to stand still. What we need now is an agreed way forward.