A new report released today by Tourism Industry Council SA (TICSA) shows a dramatic drop in confidence among tourism businesses over the past quarter.
The report declares that the tourism industry has been the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and after two years of ‘the new normal’ many businesses are “frustrated, confused and very uncertain about their future”.
The dramatic 35-point decline in confidence highlights the failure of the Marshall Liberal Government’s support for these businesses that has been haphazard at best.
Earlier this week, businesses in the travel sector picketed MP’s offices pleading for urgent State and Federal Government assistance to save businesses and jobs.
Prior to the onset of COVID-19, the tourism sector contributed a record $8.1 billion in visitor expenditure to the South Australian economy, with 18,000 tourism businesses directly employing more than 40,000 workers.
SA Labor has repeatedly called for an industry support package for businesses as capacity restrictions have hit their ability to trade.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison
I have heard devastating stories from family businesses literally going broke because of the impact of restrictions and the lack of Government support.
People have sold assets and the family home just to try to stay afloat.
Another concern is the exodus of trained and experienced staff, who with no income, have left the industry entirely to find alternative employment.
When we reach the other side we will not have the capacity to return to the visitor experience offered prior to the pandemic. This contributes to the ongoing uncertainty about the future.
Meanwhile the Minister for Tourism (Steven Marshall) is missing in action and has done nothing to assist a sector largely made up of small to medium family-owned businesses.