Tourism support a start, but more needed

Labor welcomes the new tourism industry measures announced today by the State Government, but more needs to be done.

The budget of these programs is $5.7 million and is understood to be from repurposed existing funds from the SATC.

The tourism and hospitality sectors are two sectors being hardest hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two weeks ago, Labor constructively called on the Marshall Liberal Government to follow the lead of other states and come up with a package to help keep hospitality and tourism businesses alive and save thousands of jobs.

Today the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) announced five new programs that are aimed at helping local tourism operators. These include:

  • One-off grant payments
  • Support for regional and community events
  • Digital training
  • Funding for regional tourism organisations
  • Distributing fact sheets on the SATC website

Even prior to COVID-19, the sector was doing it tough. A recent business confidence survey said the visitor economy at its lowest ebb since 2012, with a huge 51 per cent decrease in business outlook, and a 34 per cent decline in business activity.

It was estimated that in September 2019 there were 18,000 businesses and 39,000 jobs rely on tourism in South Australia.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison

Tourism businesses were doing it tough even before COVID-19 and the bushfires hit SA.

These Government measures are a start, but much more needs to be done.

Whilst our public health response to COVID-19 is in place, we need to focus on ensuring that our tourism sector can also weather this crisis.

Cafes, pubs, restaurants, cellar doors, accommodation providers, tour operators and all our tourism businesses literally help keep food on the table for tens of thousands of South Australians.