01 Apr 2022

Federal Budget, national visitor economy strategy, Great State Voucher wrap up & more...

This week, the Federal Government handed down the 2022-23 Budget, which includes $146.5 million to support Australia’s tourism industry. As part of this, there is targeted support for travel agents and tour arrangement service providers, marketing to recover international visitation, and an increase in the Working Holiday Maker intake to help tackle workforce shortages.

The Budget also included funding to implement Australia’s national strategy to grow the visitor economy, THRIVE 2030. The strategy was launched by Federal Minister for Tourism, Dan Tehan last week, and targets $230 Billion spent in Australia’s visitor economy by 2030.

I am pleased to join Tony Coppins, managing director of Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari, as the two South Australian representatives on the THRIVE 2030 Implementation Advisory Group (TIAG). The TIAG will monitor the implementation of the national strategy and provide updates on its progress to the Federal Minister for Tourism.

As we work to recover our state’s visitor economy, this week we welcomed the first direct flight from Newcastle to Adelaide. The new QantasLink route will operate three flights per week and reduce travel time for an estimated 2,800 visitors every week.

I presented at two key industry events this week – Tourism Australia’s industry briefing and the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) SA industry conference – both an excellent opportunity to talk through the SATC’s plans for 2022 and beyond, and outline what we see as the opportunities and challenges facing our sector.

Bookings for round eight of our Great State Voucher program closed last night – generating the highest number of bookings for tour and experience providers in any one round of the scheme to date. With more than 40,000 bookings created for tour and experience operators, it’s a record-high for this sector in our scheme and a huge boost for our state’s visitor economy.

The travel period for rounds seven and eight continues until the end of May and is supporting strong forward bookings over the Easter break and April school holidays.

The latest episode in our Tourism Trailblazers series features Melissa Brown from Gemtree Wines in the Fleurieu Peninsula. Melissa has an impressive story of resilience and creativity – the Gemtree team has partnered with local businesses to launch new products like accommodation and a cultural tour, and found ways to grow its customer base during the height of COVID restrictions.

The Adelaide Hills is cementing its position as the state’s wellness capital, with a three-day Wellness Wander event on this weekend. With wellness tourism a burgeoning sector – currently worth $12 Billion nationally – and so many operators in the Hills offering incredible experiences in this space, there is a real growth opportunity here and I congratulate Adelaide Hills Tourism and all operators involved in this initiative.

Read on for details and other updates.

Rodney Harrex
Chief Executive


Tourism Trailblazers – Gemtree Wines

The fourth episode in our Tourism Trailblazers series tells the story of Fleurieu Peninsula based Gemtree Wines.

Getting people back to nature and championing the land is the philosophy that guides Gemtree Wines and its trailblazing co-owner Melissa Brown.

To overcome the challenges of lockdowns and restrictions, Gemtree Wines partnered with local businesses that shared in their philosophy, such as eco accommodation CABN and Senior Cultural Custodian and Yellaka co-founder, Karl Winda Telfer.

Introducing new, safe and immersive experiences enticed tourists to visit and stay connected with the winery and the McLaren Vale region.

Watch the video to find out more.

Melissa Brown of Gemtree Wines
Melissa Brown of Gemtree Wines

Tasting Australia launches Storyteller Series

Culinary stars will share stories from the kitchen in a fresh new series launching at this month’s Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel.

The festival’s debut Storytellers Series will feature guests including Jake Kellie from Adelaide’s arkhé as well as Gourmet Traveller 2022 Restaurant Personality of the Year, Sharon Romeo, from Fino Vino and Fino Seppeltsfield.

Favourite childhood meals, lessons learned and career inspiration are all on the table, with SA food identity and MasterChef alumna Mandy Hall to host each session in Tasting Australia’s Town Square at Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga.

Ticketed food masterclasses will also be on offer as part of the series, as well as a special Mother’s Day line-up.

Find out more

Adelaide Hills showcases its wellness credentials

The inaugural Wellness Wander weekend kicks off today at venues across the Adelaide Hills, with more than 75 events and experiences targeting wellness seekers over three days.

It is the nation’s first Wellness Wander event and it’s part of the Adelaide Hills’ strategy to position itself as the wellness capital of South Australia, tapping into the booming wellness sector, worth $12 billion nationally.

From Sequoia Lodge’s ‘reconnect and discover’ package to Golding Wines’ yoga, bubbles and brunch – there is something for every type of wellness seeker.

Head to the Hills for a weekend of wellness experiences that will leave visitors feeling refreshed and renewed.

Explore the program


See the Industry Update – 1 April 2022.