Welcome to the February edition of Tourism News.
This month has been a busy one for events in South Australia. We’ve just wrapped up the 2020 Superloop Adelaide 500, we recently hosted the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and the ICC T20 World Cup preliminary matches, and the city is buzzing with the Adelaide Fringe. We’ve also seen tremendous support continue for the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island through SATC sponsored events, such as the Kangaroo Island Racing Carnival, and community-led special events such as the KI Fringe.
I do want to stress that the end of February marks a pivot in our marketing focus. While #BookThemOut will live on, our focus moves to how we can drive visitation to the whole of South Australia – all of our state’s regions. As I touched on in a recent Industry Update and was speaking with industry leaders about at a recent TicSA conference, the BookThemOut campaign sought to address perception issues that were impacting consumer’s travel choices, influencing them to cancel bookings and preventing future bookings. It was critical to debunk the perception that “Australia was on fire”, that it wasn’t safe to travel to Kangaroo Island the country’s fourth icon, and that there was “nothing left to see” in our fire-affected regions.
It is important we now focus on all of SA’s regions, particularly as the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to evolve. Stand by for more detail on what the new winter campaign looks like but what I can share is that we have both global and local elements – both aiming to drive tourism to, and within, our state.
A recent example of an opportunity arising out of less fortunate circumstances, is the repositioning of cruise ships to Australian ports due to the uncertainty of international access to ports particularly in Asia. We’ve had an additional 13 cruise ships schedule visits to South Australia – bringing the overall number of cruise ship visits to our state for the 2019/20 season to 85, with a potential capacity of 186,378 passengers and crew. We all know the benefits that cruise brings to our sector, to operators and local businesses through increased trade, so we are pleased to welcome these ship arrivals and the extension of the season.
Although there continues to be uncertainty as the situation globally, we remain focused on increasing visitation from our existing international markets, as well as on our domestic market. We heard from the Commonwealth Government yesterday that the travel restriction has been extended again, for another week due to concerns that the virus now has a higher number of reported cases outside of China, than within it.
I look forward to sharing more with you in the coming weeks. It is another event-packed month ahead in South Australia and I hope you can all benefit from the increased visitation this brings to our state.