Tourism News April 2020
Welcome to the April edition of Tourism News. It was a very big month for the tourism sector in South Australia. In addition to a very different Easter and school holidays, and a unique and quite solemn Anzac Day, we also saw our state sensitively and effectively managing the significant impacts of COVID-19.
I am incredibly proud of how we have all have responded to the restrictions imposed on us – whether they be on our personal lives or business operations – all in the name of stopping the spread of the virus and protecting South Australians. Our united diligence has certainly helped contain, and limit, any community transmissions, and I hope you can take some pride in playing your part.
No doubt, our sector is hurting and will be for some time to come. It has been pleasing to see so many of you taking the time to stay in touch with the team at the SATC, and also signing up for one of our business support programs – either cash grants, business training programs, digital workshops or one of our webinars. All of this tells me very clearly that we have an engaged industry, and one that is very keen to come out of this stronger.
I know many of you are curious when travel restrictions are going to be eased. The SATC is in discussions with SA Health about how to best manage any easing of restrictions and we’re feeding all of the information we’re getting from regional tourism representatives ‘on the ground’ directly to the SA Health, to help ensure that any transition to lifting travel restrictions is as seamless as possible.
I have mentioned those regional engagement sessions we’ve been holding this week, with you in recent Industry Updates. While more information will be coming to you soon, I want to share with you now that we’ve been having really useful, robust discussion with a strong cross-section of the industry, from regional tourism managers, to the chairs and boards of Regional Tourism Organisations, local government, RDAs and importantly, operators.
I will be sharing a separate update with some of the key takeaways and actions, once we have collated the feedback from all 11 sessions, however some of the initial points include regional safety, aviation support, signage and the economic value of domestic travelling. It’s very clear that industry is eager to open the regions once health officials advise that it is safe to do so, and that a coordinated, consistent and well-communicated approach will play a key role in the re-opening of our state’s regions. This is exactly what we’re working on.
It was terrific to hear the Premier Steven Marshall this morning talk about the gradual easing of regional travel restrictions. On the back of our advice regarding the importance of engaging with the community and industry, it was great to hear him speak on ABC Radio, confirming that: “We would like to work with the regional communities, increase the number of people that are travelling there, but we want to do it safely and we want to do it with regional communities welcoming travellers. We know if we can get people back to some intrastate travel that’s going to create jobs, going to keep people employed, grow the economy and these things are really, really important at this time.”
On a personal note, I have downloaded the COVIDSafe app (as has the SATC leadership group and many staff) and I would encourage as many people possible to do the same. If it can help bring forward when restrictions can be eased in our state and in our country, it is well worth it.
I will keep in touch, but in the meantime, read on for a summary of what has been happening in our sector during April.
Read the full Tourism News April edition here.