New tourism stimulus package for Australia & Qantas airfare sale
Significant news today with the announcement from the Federal Government of a $1.2 billion stimulus package to support Australia’s airlines, hotels and caravan parks, restaurants and bars, travel agents and tourism operators.
South Australia’s Kangaroo Island has been identified as one of 13 key tourism regions across the country to receive dedicated support, with half-price flights to Kingscote designed to drive additional visitation from April.
At this stage, other locations include the Gold Coast, Cairns, the Whitsundays and Mackay region, the Sunshine Coast, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie, Avalon, Alice Springs, Broome and Merimbula.
I understand that the flights, routes and the total number of tickets will be driven by demand and are subject to final discussions with the airlines – so we will continue to work on getting additional destinations in South Australia included in the stimulus package. It is critical we keep SA front of mind with both travellers but also the national tourism industry and business sectors.
Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan has announced several new temporary, targeted measures for parts of the tourism sector impacted most from border closures.
In addition to the half-price airline tickets, the Government has also announced cheap loans for businesses and direct support to keep planes in the air, and airline workers in their jobs.
Other new measures in the support package include:
- New International Aviation Support to help Australia’s two international passenger airlines maintain more than 8,000 core international aviation jobs
- Support for regular passenger airports to meet their domestic security screening costs
- A new Aviation Services Assistance Support Program to help ground-handling companies meet the costs of mandatory training, certification and accreditation to ensure they maintain their workforces so they can stand them back up when the market expands again
- The re-instalment of domestic aviation security screening cost rebates for more than 50 regular passenger airports
- Cheap loans will also be offered to small and medium businesses coming off JobKeeper at the end of the month, as part of the SME Recovery Loan Scheme
- The $50 million Business Events Grants Program will also be extended by three months to support Australian businesses to hold multi-day business events, covering up to 50 per cent of the costs incurred in participating in business events during the 2021 calendar year – designed to help restart Australia’s business events sector
- The $94.6 million Zoos and Aquarium program will be extended by six months to support zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks to maintain their animal populations where their tourism revenue has been affected by travel and social distancing restrictions.
For more details on the tourism and business support on offer, please visit the Austrade website.
This news is timely as the SATC and Qantas announced today a new $99 flight deal, for customers booking a return economy flight to Adelaide from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth or Canberra. Customers can also explore regional South Australia with fares from $169 one-way when booking a return economy flight to Kangaroo Island, Whyalla, Mount Gambier and Port Lincoln from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.
The sale launched today runs for one week until 11.59pm (AEDT) 18 March 2021 unless sold out prior. It is a great deal, and one I expect will bring a lot of people to SA – many of those who have been waiting to travel and get back to our great state. See the SATC media release here. To book, and for full terms and conditions, see qantas.com/sasale.
The SATC also ran a similar promotion with Jetstar recently which saw tens of thousands of flights booked into SA – again highlighting how stimulus packages are effective, and how we continue to be proactive in the market, driving visitation, creating jobs and getting people travelling.
I will continue to keep you updated on how today's news impacts our industry and any updates that are announced.