Tourism operators fear future after #BookThemOut

Tourism operators are expressing concern about the Government’s tourism strategy after the current #BookThemOut campaign ends with many warning they have had a sharp fall in bookings into the rest of this year.

The campaign was launched in the wake of the bushfires that impacted Kangaroo Island and the Adelaide Hills.
While many operators acknowledge the special circumstances of those two regions, the State’s other nine regions have been doing it hard with falling numbers of international visitors and a tougher domestic economic climate.

Labor has set out a suite of measures to reinvigorate this important sector of our economy that directly employs 39,000 South Australians.
The recent results from a tourism industry survey show that 8 out 10 respondents felt that they were facing significant negative impacts to their business.

Labor’s measures include:

SA tourism’s fair share
• Reversing the Government’s cuts to the SATC budget.
• Ensuring SA gets its fair share of $76 million of the Commonwealth tourism bushfire recovery assistance.
• Setting a higher target for regional South Australia share of visitor expenditure.
• Advocate for meetings, events and other business activities to be held in bushfire affected regions in the next six months.

Increase tourism marketing
• New marketing campaign to sell SA to the world.
• Long-term marketing partnerships with regional tourism organisations.

Tourism infrastructure and access
• Prioritise new direct flight routes.
• Reverse cuts to The Overland.
• Plan and help deliver new tourism infrastructure.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison

The #BookThemOut campaign was an emergency response to a series of bushfire events that directly impacted on two of our key tourism regions but operators are now asking what’s next?

The Government must reinvest in our tourism industry as a priority. This is a key economic driver in the State and it is struggling in the wake of not only the bushfires but also from the impact of coronavirus on our key Chinese tourism market.

Steven Marshall seized tourism from one of his own Ministers and he must start showing some leadership and vision for the sector.

The Premier must use his influence to ensure the industry gets back what he slashed from their funding over the past two years.