20 May 2021

Great State vouchers create multi-millions for experience operators

Monarto Safari Park Lions 360 is the most popular tour or experience booked through the latest round of Great State Vouchers
Monarto Safari Park Lions 360 is the most popular tour or experience booked through the latest round of Great State Vouchers

Tour and experience operators have had a multi-million boost on the back of the latest round of Great State Vouchers.

Data from round three of the program has highlighted over $2.5 million worth of bookings have already been made with South Australian hosted tours and experiences – a direct shot in the arm for a sector hit hard by travel and COVID restrictions.

Premier Steven Marshall thanked South Australians for supporting hundreds of our tourism operators, right across our great State.

“For every voucher being used, it’s creating an average of two bookings with a local tour or experience operator – in some cases, up to four or five bookings for a family or a group – and it’s making a huge difference to businesses’ bottom line,” Premier Marshall said.

“This scheme is creating and sustaining jobs, not just for our experience operators, but for our hotels, pubs, clubs and restaurants.

“Tourism in South Australia is going gangbusters and I urge those still with vouchers yet to redeem to book before the closing date.”

South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive Rodney Harrex said feedback from industry has been “incredibly positive” as consumers rush to book their voucher experiences in the last days of the booking period.

“We’re hearing from operators that they’ve seen a surge in bookings as the closing date looms, and it’s getting locals who might’ve ordinarily overlooked a tour or experience while holidaying at home, booking up with these South Australian businesses who need it most,” Mr Harrex said.

“With several days left to book and numbers still clocking up, some operators are reporting tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of revenue already created and a new ‘breed’ of local advocates who are talking about their incredible experiences with family and friends and creating a flow-on effect.”

Monarto Safari Park’s Lions 360 experience has completely sold-out with each voucher creating a booking for a minimum of two people, and RoofClimb Adelaide Oval proving hugely popular among locals who’ve always had it on their wish-list. With a little over four days to go, more than 14,000 vouchers have created at least 27,000 bookings with participating operators.

What operators are saying:

Elaine Bensted, chief executive of Zoos SA said the Lions 360 is one of their most popular experiences and “the take up of the Great State Voucher scheme has proved this”.

“The experience places visitors inside the cage and within a whisker of this amazing species. The voucher scheme has showcased Zoos SA – both our Monarto Safari Park and our Adelaide Zoo – to a wider audience,” said Ms Bensted.

“Spots are still available for our Panda and Friends experience at Adelaide Zoo – which runs before our regular business hours, offering visitors the chance to see Fu Ni and Wang Wang and our Red Pandas enjoy the start of the day including their breakfast. It also includes a tour and a spot of breakfast for the humans! As a conservation charity it is the revenue from experiences like Panda and Friends that enables us to carry on our vital work.”

Escape Goat Adventures which operate mountain bike tours out of the Adelaide Hills is seeing day-trip tours flood in, after they almost evaporated when borders closed.

Ian Fehler of EscapeGoat Adventures said: “Wow, just had a crazy time trying to update all the new bookings that came through on the weekend via the vouchers! Many bookings coming through are for multiple pax, we’ve had many bookings for two or three people, where they’re using one voucher and paying normal prices for their friends. It’s a really good base of bookings going forward into winter and justifies us putting on another casual guide!”

Ambleside Distillers has added availability to its calendar – and increased its staffing hours – due to the popularity of its Gin Blending Masterclass experience, which was snapped up within 48 hours of bookings opening.

Trudy Dickson, founder of Ambleside Distillers said: “Not only have we seen the huge demand in voucher bookings, which has meant we’ve been able to increase hours for our staff – but we’ve also seen a flow on effect for distillery and experience bookings outside of the Great State Voucher program. Feedback from people doing the masterclasses has been that the vouchers have been the trigger they needed to book an experience and make a trip to the Adelaide Hills, and in doing so, they’ve fallen even more in love with what our region has to offer.”

RoofClimb Adelaide Oval’s Laura Robinson said: “The Great State Voucher has been a welcome injection for RoofClimb – it has been great to see so many people getting out and about, supporting the tourism operators and experiencing what Adelaide and South Australia has to offer!” 

More information and to book: www.southaustralia.com/voucher  

Top 10 tours or experiences booked:

  1. Monarto Safari Park Lions 360
  2. RoofClimb Adelaide Oval
  3. SteamRanger Heritage Railway
  4. Barristers Block hosted tasting experience
  5. Food Tours Australia, Adelaide Central Market tour
  6. Sticky Rice Cooking School
  7. Big Duck Boat Tour
  8. Barossa Chateau hosted arts and antique gallery tour
  9. Captain Proud Paddle Boat Cruises
  10. Adelaide Zoo – Panda & Friends