Labor has called on the Marshall Liberal Government to expand its investment in tourism to ensure smaller businesses have access to financial help.
The Marshall Liberal Government has announced a $20 million Tourism Industry Development Fund to provide grants between $20,000 and $500,000 towards 30% the cost of new tourism products.
But with 90% of local employing tourism businesses considered “micro” or “small” there are concerns about whether this money will reach those who need it most.
For a small business trying to access the minimum $20,000 grant it would mean they need to raise nearly $50,000 of their own money towards the project.
This comes at a time when the latest industry survey suggests investment is at a record low with 94% of tourism businesses on JobKeeper.
Despite the Development Fund announcement, South Australia is lagging behind the rest of the nation on COVID-19 stimulus.
Labor has already proposed a SA Tourism Voucher Scheme, which has the backing of the tourism industry, and could drive money to those smaller operators that really need it.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison
The vast majority of tourism operators are simply trying to survive. They need immediate support. The Government’s Development Fund, while welcome, may not be easily accessible for smaller businesses.
SA tourism businesses have been backing Labor’s tourism voucher scheme, similar to what is done in the NT and Tasmania. It’s good for the economy, for workers and encourages South Australians to explore their backyard.