05 Sep 2022

Funding now open to boost nature-based tourism in SA

Private sector businesses, not-for-profit organisations, and community associations can now seek funding to develop nature-based tourism experiences across South Australia.

The South Australian Tourism Commission’s $2 million Experience Nature Tourism Fund was announced in early August, and applications are now open.

The fund aims to showcase the state’s natural landscapes and help attract domestic and international visitors.

Grants from $10,000 to $50,000 are available for new and improved nature-based tourism products and experiences in or near a national park, reserve, wilderness protection area or marine park.

Grants are available via two funding streams:

  • Stream 1 – Quick Activation Projects with grants available from $10,000 to $20,000
  • Stream 2 – Innovative Development Projects with grants ranging from $20,001 to $50,000.

Project examples could include the purchase of equipment for experiences such as snorkelling, kayaking, cultural tours, wildlife viewing, and other ‘pop up’ activities in national parks such as camping. On land adjacent to parks, it could also include new or refurbished off-grid accommodation such as tiny homes, cabins and glamping tents, and infrastructure such as toilets and solar power generation.

Applicants will need to demonstrate the benefits the project will deliver to the visitor economy and must also have support from key stakeholders including landowners before making an application.

Projects must comply with the statutory management plan for a particular park or reserve, demonstrate care and consideration of the natural and cultural heritage of the proposed site, and operate in accordance with licence requirements set by the Department for Environment and Water (DEW).

If the project enters a national park, applicants must have in-principle support from DEW prior to commencing an application.

The funding program runs over four financial years, with up to $500,000 available in each year.

Applications close at 5pm on 21 October 2022.

More information and to apply: tourism.sa.gov.au/support/experience-nature-tourism-fund.

Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison said this $2 million boost for South Australia’s visitor economy aims to generate investment in impressive nature experiences that our state is famous for.

"We have incredible natural landscapes, a rich cultural history and unique wildlife that motivates domestic and international travellers to commit to a trip to South Australia," she said. 

"Through this Fund, we’re playing to these strengths and giving visitors more reasons to get out and to stay longer.

"I encourage industry and enterprise to make the most of this tourism support package – to build on the world-class offerings we have in SA and leverage the momentum of tourism recovery in our state where we’ve seen record winter tourism rates and interstate visitor expenditure at a post-covid high."