02 Mar 2021

Latest regional tourism grants, NRL returns to Adelaide, industry opportunities & more...

With $5 million out the door to date as part of the Tourism Industry Development Fund and today’s announcement that the NRL will return to Adelaide, it’s been a strong start to the week for South Australia’s tourism industry.

It follows an ace week at Memorial Drive for the Adelaide International WTA 500, which wrapped up the second lot of international tennis played in our state in the space of four weeks. It is clear that with world-class facilities, you attract world-class talent – and that's what we continue to see during one of the biggest festival weeks in our state. 

The city is abuzz with the Adelaide Fringe and Adelaide Festival, and we're just days out from a reimagined WOMADelaide, which will host some of the country's best homegrown acts to kick off our Cup long weekend. 

As SA is ‘open for business’ to all states and territories, we’re hearing from trade partners that travel consumer confidence is growing and that is translating to an uptick in interstate visitors.

I’ll be getting on a plane later this week to represent the SATC at Tourism Australia’s annual Destination Australia conference. Held at the ICC Sydney this year, the conference will focus on the future of Australian tourism, with high profile speakers sharing consumer insights, global trends and discussing key opportunities for the tourism industry in a post-COVID world. I look forward to applying the learnings to what we do at the SATC.

Read on for an update on industry news and opportunities.

Rodney Harrex
Chief Executive


Boosting investment in regional tourism

When the data and anecdotal feedback shows that South Australians are continuing to support regional operators at unprecedented levels, it is fantastic to know that operators are taking up opportunities to invest in their business.

The latest round of Tourism Industry Development Fund grants announced yesterday, go to 10 regional operators including a major distillery upgrade on Kangaroo Island, construction of eco-cabins in the Eyre Peninsula and a houseboat refurbishment in the Riverland. 

To date, 31 projects with a combined value of over $20 million have been allocated the SATC funding.

It’s particularly pleasing to hear from operators like Craig Haslam of Xplore Eyre by Australian Wildlife Adventures who said that despite COVID ‘slapping them around’, he’s using the opportunity to reshape what they do. 

Craig (pictured below with his wife Jo) has adapted his business to focus on small, luxury group tours for the domestic market and has used the grant to purchase a new tour vehicle to bring a new type of visitor to the region.

For details and a list of the 10 operators receiving a grant in this latest round, see here.


NRL returns to Adelaide

South Australia will again welcome one of sport's greatest rivalries with the return of the Ampol State of Origin in 2023. The National Rugby League, in conjunction with the SA Government and the SATC's Events South Australia team, today made the announcement that Adelaide Oval would host a match in the 2023 series, following the success of the first State of Origin NRL match at the iconic venue last year.

“It’s a great result for rugby league fans, but also a big win for South Australian hotels, restaurants and cafes,” Premier Steven Marshall said.

“More than 20,000 interstate visitors are expected to visit Adelaide to help celebrate the big match – injecting an estimated $15 million into the South Australian economy.”

So, whether you’re a Blues or Maroons fan, it’s fantastic to host events like this which help put our state on the national stage and create vibrancy and visitation for great city.

Details here.

Support for Indigenous tourism

New funding and business support are available for Indigenous tourism under the $40 million Indigenous Tourism Fund, announced by the Federal Government.

Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP said the package was “designed in consultation with the Indigenous tourism sector who have told us clearly what they need to recover and grow their businesses.”

As part of the package, up to $12 million will be available under the Tourism Grants for Indigenous Business Program to help businesses and community organisations develop new products, and purchase systems and equipment.

The establishment of a National Indigenous Tourism Advisory Group of Indigenous experts from a variety of fields will advise on priorities for the sector and the implementation of the fund.

If you believe this Fund may be applicable to you, you can get in touch with the SATC’s Destination Development team with any questions or contact your local National Indigenous Australians Agency.

Details about the Indigenous Tourism Fund at: niaa.gov.au/indigenous-affairs/economic-development/indigenous-tourism-fund.

Fishing for tourism – charter boat diversification

The ‘Fishing for Tourism’ program has been running since late 2019 to expand and strengthen the charter boat sector by assisting charter boat operators to diversify into tourism.

In a second round of the program, charter boat operators looking to offer a visitor experience can seek grants from $2,000 to $25,000. Grants can be used to improve vessel amenities, make boat alterations and for marketing of the experience, and more. Details of the Department for Primary Industries and Regions’ (PIRSA) $500,000 Charter Boat Diversification Program available here.

Applications close at midday on Friday, 16 April 2021.

Opportunity for walking or nature-based tour operators

If you host a walking or nature-based tour or are based in a walking destination and want to showcase your product or experience at an exhibition targeting hiking and nature lovers, read on.

Walking SA invites like-minded businesses to host a stall at its upcoming annual Hiking Expo in Belair National Park on Sunday, 11 April 2021.

An expo to celebrate the start of South Australia’s bushwalking season, it brings together bushwalking clubs and hiking enthusiasts.Details at: walkingsa.org.au/hiking-expo-2021.


See the full Industry Update - 2 March 2021 here.