SA businesses short-changed in tourism voucher scheme

The Opposition has learned the Marshall Liberal Government has finally decided to adopt a tourism voucher scheme, but too many businesses are excluded, and the dollar value simply isn’t enough to give the sector the stimulus it desperately needs.

A “Registration of Participation” document sent to tourism operators, and obtained by the Opposition, reveals the scheme would offer $100 vouchers for bookings in the CBD and North Adelaide only, and $50 vouchers for bookings in suburban Adelaide and regional South Australia.

This is well short of the $200 voucher proposed by the Opposition, which would have covered the entire state and is the same amount on offer in the Northern Territory. Tasmania has a $150 voucher scheme in place for accommodation and experience providers.

The SA vouchers only cover accommodation providers, excluding other businesses in areas such as hospitality, experiences, tours and attractions.

The vouchers are not eligible for accommodation providers with fewer than 10 rooms, excluding smaller, boutique stays, as well as campsites and shared accommodation. Saturday night stays are not eligible.

The government is calling for businesses to register their interest in participating in the program by Friday 25 September. The vouchers would be eligible for bookings from Thursday 15 October until 31 October for travel between 15 October to 11 December 2020 inclusive.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison

Labor welcomes the government’s decision to finally adopt our call for a tourism voucher scheme.

However, this scheme excludes too many tourism businesses and the dollar value simply isn’t enough to give the sector the stimulus it needs.

Our tourism industry has been hit harder than most sectors by the pandemic, with border restrictions severely limiting incoming visitors.