Borders open, vaccinations required for passenger transport workers, & more...
A huge milestone today for our state’s tourism industry, with borders now open to fully vaccinated travellers from all states and territories.
More than 43,000 people have already been processed through the State Government’s new border entry process, EntryCheck SA, showing immediate strong demand.
Reports are that many people eager to visit SA have crossed the border by road since midnight last night and I was at Adelaide Airport to welcome the first few flights from Melbourne and Sydney – joining Premier Steven Marshall and Qantas executive Igor Kwiatkowski for a press conference to mark the occasion.
There were emotional scenes as families and friends were reunited, and it was wonderful to see the airport buzzing. Qantas reports that today’s flights out of Melbourne and Sydney are full and the airline is confident they can add more flights as demand grows in the weeks to come.
In line with this, Adelaide Airport has seen an increase in airline schedules this week – a 40 per cent increase on weekly return domestic flights or an extra 80 return flights per week, mostly from Sydney and Melbourne.
We’ve also seen increased positivity in the CBD in the lead up to reopening. Over the weekend of 12-13 November – the weekend of the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant – we saw the highest number of room nights booked in Adelaide since the state-wide lockdown in July.
In the month since the border announcement was made, we’ve seen a 30 per cent increase in organic search traffic from interstate to our southaustralia.com website – and from Victoria, a more than 50 per cent increase.
Pre COVID, our interstate market was worth $2.7 Billion to SA’s visitor economy – with more than $1.8 Billion of this, from Victoria and New South Wales alone.
Today’s reopening of borders puts our industry on the front-foot to attract this valuable market and I’ve heard from operators in the Adelaide Hills and the CBD who are reporting a spike in demand from the Eastern states.
An important update for tour operators – a new SA Police Direction requires passenger transport workers, ‘point-to-point drivers’ and persons whose work relates to the provision of a passenger transport service to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
There are different dates that require you to have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine depending on which category of passenger transport applies to you.
Please read on for details and other updates.
Passenger transport worker vaccinations
There are now requirements for passenger transport workers involved in transporting passengers (including tour operators) to be vaccinated against COVID-19:
- A point-to-point driver (including taxi, rideshare and chauffeured vehicle) must have at least one vaccination by 25 November.
- A passenger transport driver (other than a point-to-point driver) must have at least one vaccination by 12 December.
- A person whose work or duties relates to the provision of a passenger transport service must have at least one vaccination by 20 December 2021 – this includes persons who have in-person contact with passengers of a passenger transport service (i.e. booking and ticketing workers).
For details, refer to the full Passenger Transport Vaccination Direction here.
Arts & Cultural Tourism targets $1.4 Billion
Together with industry leaders, the SATC released the South Australian Arts & Cultural Tourism Strategy 2025 which sets an ambitious plan to recover the sector to its pre pandemic high of $1.4 Billion and cement the state’s position as a vibrant arts and culture destination.
The Strategy aims to build on the breadth of arts and cultural tourism offerings to ensure there are incredible cultural experiences for visitors no matter when they visit SA, and includes a focus on opportunities such as Aboriginal arts and culture, public arts, regional experiences and music in all its forms.
More than 300 industry representatives have had their say on the future of arts and cultural tourism in the state. By working together, we can continue to grow this valuable sector for SA.
More about the South Australian Arts and Cultural Tourism Strategy 2025 here.
Cruise season sets sail
As South Australia’s cruise sector charts its recovery, the first expedition vessel of the 2021-22 cruise season arrives is on its first intrastate voyage.
The Coral Expeditions ‘Coral Adventurer’ returns to SA after its successful first sail in our state in February this year. It’s one of three expedition vessels visiting SA this summer, with more than 10 scheduled voyages from Coral Expeditions, APT and North Star Cruises combined – making more than 90 visits from the Eyre Peninsula to Kangaroo Island and the Limestone Coast.
With support of regional tourism organisations, local government and operators – this new sector is not only providing a boost to regions as tourism recovers but is proving that cruising can be safe and successful.
World-class tennis returns to Adelaide
Blockbuster tennis is returning to Adelaide in 2022 with back-to-back Adelaide International events to be held at the newly transformed Memorial Drive.
The world-class sporting precinct will play host to some of the biggest stars in tennis in the lead up to the Australian Open providing a boost to CBD operators.
The first event will be hosted on 2-9 January and will feature a WTA 500 and ATP 250 combined tournament. It will be followed by the second Adelaide International event – a WTA 250 and ATP 250 tournament on 9-15 January 2022.
Culture, heritage & arts regional tourism grants
A Federal Government grant program aims to support regional communities to recover from the pandemic.
The Culture, Heritage and Arts Regional Tourism (CHART) program aims to support community cultural, heritage and arts organisations in regional Australia. Funding will support activities that encourage cultural tourism.
Applications close when funding allocation exhausted or on 29 April 2022, whichever is sooner.