01 Oct 2020

Industry Update - standing drinking, dancing at weddings & a trans-Tasman bubble

Good afternoon,

More good news for South Australia’s tourism and hospitality industry today, with an easing of COVID restrictions to allow “vertical consumption” of alcohol outdoors as well as drinking and dancing at private functions in licensed venues.

From midnight tomorrow night, licensed venues such as pubs, bars, wineries and cellar doors will be able to have patrons drink while standing up – in outdoor areas only.

Transitioning from seated to standing consumption is something that has been advocated for strongly by the hospitality and hotels sector, and while limited to outdoors, it is another fantastic step forward in the recovery of our visitor economy. I know it will mean a lot to many operators across our state, and also to event organisers who are reimagining how to deliver their events and festivals.

Also effective from midnight tomorrow, people attending private functions such as weddings will be able to dance, as well as drink while standing, with the function capped at 150 guests. Private functions mean there is a defined guest list, which assists with contact tracing should it be needed.

In making today’s announcement, the Premier Steven Marshall said these decisions are commensurate with the changing risks.

As the weather only continues to warm up and we see more interstaters visit SA, these changes come at a fantastic time and will provide an extra boost of business for operators and an extra incentive for people to get out and about in our state.

You may have also heard news of a trans-Tasman travel bubble being back on the agenda, and that SA is set to be one of the first states to reopen to New Zealand. While it should be noted that the Premier said today it is still some time off, I am proud that our state is in these discussions.

The SATC has been very active in the NZ market all the way through this pandemic, to keep SA top of mind. Consumer sentiment surveys showed there is strong demand from Kiwis wanting to visit SA and we know a record 43,000 trips were made by New Zealanders to SA last year, spending more than $45 million in our state. Of course, the decision of any travel bubble with NZ is one for the Federal Government and the SA Transition Committee, based on health advice, but the SATC stands by ready to activate when that time can come.

A reminder, our Great State voucher scheme launches this month. South Australians will be able to obtain the vouchers, to book with more than 250 accommodation providers across the CBD, suburbs and the regions, from 9am on Thursday 15 October.

By visiting southaustralia.com/voucher and entering their details, South Australians over 18 will have access to one $100 voucher for CBD hotels and one $50 voucher for suburban and regional stays.  

I look forward to seeing the positive flow-on of all of the great things happening in our great state.

Enjoy your long weekend.

Rodney Harrex
Chief executive 

See the full Industry Update - 1 October 2020 here.