12 Apr 2022

Record-high Great State Voucher bookings accelerate tourism recovery

With almost 100,000 bookings made in the latest rounds of the Great State Voucher scheme, new data shows it has generated $52 million for South Australia’s visitor economy.

It brings the estimated total value of the scheme to nearly $147 million, driving CBD hotel occupancy to some of the highest rates in the nation and accelerating tourism recovery.

Round seven of the South Australian Tourism Commission’s Great State Voucher program targeted the state’s accommodation sector – boosting forward bookings for Adelaide hotels to a post-pandemic record-high and average CBD occupancy to around 83 per cent.

Round eight targeted hosted tours and experiences, and again proved a winner in creating additional bookings for operators.

South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive Rodney Harrex said the latest voucher rounds – which launched to coincide with Adelaide’s festival season – have been invaluable to businesses and jobs, and the feedback from industry has been “hugely positive”.  

“I’ve been hearing from hoteliers in the CBD who went from taking mass cancellations in late December as Omicron stunted tourism to taking mass bookings thanks to the Great State Vouchers, and from tour operators who are now booked up for months,” said Mr Harrex.

“The more than 100,000 bookings for accommodation, tours and experiences across the state – a record number of vouchers redeemed as part of the scheme – are getting consumers back into businesses, putting on more hours for staff, and creating a multi-million-dollar spending flow-on across our visitor economy.”

SATC analysis from past voucher rounds shows it creates an average expenditure of $561 when booking a stay in the CBD, $602 for a regional stay, and $462 when booking a tour or experience with a single-day experience voucher.

In the top three of most-booked CBD hotels in round seven, the Stamford Plaza Adelaide saw a huge response from voucher holders.

Stamford Hotels General Manager in Adelaide, Sunil Rawat said: “With over 3,500 room nights booked as part of the Great State Voucher round, we are thrilled to be welcoming this influx of guests over the summer season who are staying with us, right through to the end of May. It’s made a significant impact to our reopening, brought back thousands of local and interstate visitors, and it’s created more hours for more of our staff.”

A new glass-bottom boat experience in Whyalla on the Eyre Peninsula, Cuttys Tours, offers visitors a chance to see the region’s famous Giant Cuttlefish and it proved incredibly popular in the voucher scheme.

Owner/operator of Cuttys Tours, Matt Waller – who has worked in the tourism industry for more than 15 years – said: “We received over 190 voucher bookings, which actually resulted in 500 people booked on our tour. Not only has this program injected much-needed cash into our business and the tourism economy, it has given our small business the confidence that our work so far has been well worth the effort, provided invaluable marketing, and shows how successful our tour can be in the future.”

The travel period for rounds seven and eight of the Great State Voucher scheme runs until 31 May 2022.