01 Sep 2020

Tourism News August 2020


Welcome to the August 2020 edition of Tourism News.

Today is the first day of spring and as I look to the months ahead in South Australia, I am optimistic for our industry – and with good reason.

Over the last month, we’ve welcomed the return of regional events, we’ve seen crowds back at Adelaide Oval, and even pitched to host the AFL Grand Final. In the same month, we’ve seen more number plates from WA and the NT on the road, we’ve seen airport traffic steadily increase between SA and Queensland, we’ve even heard that border restrictions to NSW and the ACT could be lifted as soon as mid-September. While hotels particularly in the CBD are hurting, we’ve seen regional accommodation occupancy reach its 2019 levels – and that’s without interstate or overseas visitors, who would have helped make those numbers last year.

While there’s a long road ahead to get back to any kind of normal, it’s been encouraging to see South Australians continue to get out and support local operators and book and spend in the regions. And as a state, we’ve certainly made progress on our roadmap to recovery, with some of the lightest restrictions in the country.

The South Australian Tourism Commission is continuing to drive visitation within our state and from those markets that are open to us. In Queensland, our ‘See It to Believe It’ campaign is in market, showcasing the unique and curious things to see and do in SA. It’s been pleasing to see Queenslanders’ interest in our state grow, with over 220,000 visits to southaustralia.com in the first four weeks since borders opening, more than quadrupling on the same period last year. We’re working hard to position SA as the must-see destination for Australians; something that will not only help entice visitors now, but will benefit our industry, well beyond COVID. 

Over the last month, I’ve continued my regional visits with SATC Chair Andrew Bullock, meeting with operators, RDA and local government, to talk about tourism recovery. We’ve nearly been to all 11 regions since intrastate travel restrictions were lifted and these visits have proved incredibly valuable, with the insights and local intelligence helping inform our understanding of regional concerns, issues and opportunities, and we have been sharing these insights with the Premier to help inform the State Government’s forward-planning.

Staying on the regions, you will have seen my invitations to complete a survey for the South Australian Regional Visitor Strategy 2025 and thank you to those who have provided feedback. Your feedback, part of the initial consultation phase, will be collated to inform the workshops being held in the regions, starting next Monday. The South Australian Regional Visitor Strategy Steering Committee, chaired by Helen Edwards, the chair of Adelaide Hills Tourism, is conducting a workshop in all 11 tourism regions and industry representatives have been invited through the Regional Tourism Organisations. I look forward to being a part of those sessions and to sharing updates as the Steering Committee progresses. 

It’s been a month of solid progress, here’s to South Australia continuing on that trajectory. Read on for a summary of achievements and updates from across our state’s tourism industry in August.

Rodney Harrex
Chief executive  

See the full Tourism News August 2020 here.