Flights, fishing, Frida, footy & more...
I’m coming to you from Kangaroo Island, as I join our Minister at Country Cabinet. While here, we celebrated the exciting announcement that Qantas will be increasing flights to the island in summer 2023-24 and winter 2024. Part of an effort to increase accessibility to the region, this will see more visitors enjoy exciting new developments such as Southern Ocean Lodge 2.0 and The Cliffs Golf Course.
It was also terrific to visit other operators on the Island. A big thank you to everyone who attended last night’s tourism roundtable at Kingscote, as well as the industry networking session at Penneshaw on Wednesday.
Operators across our Murray River regions are set to see an uptick in bookings, thanks to the distribution of River Revival Vouchers round two yesterday. For travel until 30 November, lucky winners will help boost visitation and expenditure in our flood affected communities over winter and spring. We will continue to work with operators to ensure we are delivering maximum benefit to businesses still recovering from the once in a century flooding event.
We are currently seeking insights from industry through a survey to help shape our Recreational Fishing Tourism Strategy. In partnership with RecFish SA, the survey aims to understand how the strategy can best help the tourism sector - currently worth $380 million a year - achieve its full potential and maximise its contribution to not only our economy, but also people and nature.
We are also working through the review of our current model of regional tourism organisation structures and operations in South Australia. Last week we briefed all Regional Tourism Organisation Chairs and Regional Managers to share the key take-outs and outline the next steps. I look forward to further engagement on this process over coming months.
Exciting news for footy fans and tourism operators alike, AFL Gather Round will return to SA from 4-7 April 2024. We are already hearing that bookings are starting to kick off - a great sign that this will be a bumper time in our state, after this year pumped a whopping $83 million into the state.
The Santos Tour Down Under also announced event dates for next year, which will see the biggest cycling race in the southern hemisphere return from 12 - 21 January 2024. Keep an eye out for more exciting event updates this weekend.
Looking to the arts world, the Australian exclusive Frida & Diego: Love and Revolution exhibition opens this weekend at the Art Gallery of South Australia. We are proud to support the largest exhibition of Mexican Modernism ever to be exhibited in Australia.
Chief Executive Officer