02 Jul 2021

Re-Book in SA

With South Australia’s borders closed to all but two Australian states – hitting an industry hard as it works to recover its once $8.1 billion high – a new online site is helping to take the hard work out of booking a holiday at home.

A new initiative from the South Australian Tourism Commission, launching today, connects consumers with lost travel plans to tourism operators hit by mass cancellations.

‘Re-Book in SA’ is a place to find last-minute accommodation and tour availability in South Australia at some of the state’s most special destinations which usually attract high-yield interstate (and international) visitors.

South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive Rodney Harrex said the state was reeling from mass border closures but with a sudden availability surge from cancellations, the SATC is turning it into an opportunity. 

“We’ve heard from a number of operators right across the State – from Riverland, to Adelaide Hills, to Eyre Peninsula, Barossa and Clare, that they have been on the end of some heavy cancellations from interstate guests,” he said.

“At the same time there has been a lot of emails, phone calls and a lot of talking on socials from South Australians who are now facing their own cancelled interstate plans and looking for an alternative in SA.

“Because of the record-breaking occupancy rates we’ve seen in regional SA for six consecutive months, there’s been limited inventory – so right now is the best time for South Australians to book a last-minute SA getaway to some of the state’s most sought-after properties.

“I urge any South Australian looking for something special these school holidays – whether it’s seeing the dolphins with a tour operator in Kangaroo Island to replace a lost-trip to Sea World or staying in luxury accommodation in an SA wine region like Sequioa Lodge or The Louise to replace a trip planned for NSW Hunter Valley – get onto Facebook and ‘Re-Book in SA’.”

The SATC is working with accommodation and tour/experience operators who are likely to have had mass interstate cancellations, inviting them to join the group and post their last-minute availability.

South Australians with lost holiday plans are encouraged to join the ‘Re-Book in SA’ Facebook group and post about their lost plans and what they wanted out of it (wildlife experience, luxury stay, wine region, coastal location) – so relevant operators can connect with them.

Riverland-based Murray River Trails, who offer immersive wildlife, food and wine, and nature tours including their awarded four-day guided walk, has been hit hard with cancellations since borders closed to Greater Melbourne. Its market is traditionally 90 per cent from interstate, and owner/operator Tony Sharley welcomed the new ‘Re-Book in SA’ initiative to connect with South Australians.

“Over the last three weeks, we’ve lost Victorian customers so we were relieved when we could welcome them back. But now, with so many other states closed, we’re working hard to put the word out among South Aussies that we have spots available as early as next week.

“We’d love to fill these spots with locals looking for a special experience on the Murray and there’s always a chance at a bit of price relief in a situation like this.”

Visit Re-Book in SA at: facebook.com/groups/rebookinsa