Tourism News March 2020
Welcome to the March edition of Tourism News.
It has by no means been like any other March, nor any other time in all of our lived experiences. Measures introduced to reduce the severity of the pandemic have stemmed the flow of tourists to South Australia from overseas, as well as interstate and more recently, intrastate. We know this means an extended period of zero customers for so many tourism operators and businesses, and uncertainty about the future.
There have been two main themes in my regular updates to you throughout the past month – the first is that we must heed the medical advice to stop the spread of COVID-19 and hopefully curb how long restrictions need to be in place; and secondly, that the SATC is doing everything we can to get support for our 18,000 tourism businesses and to help you understand and navigate that support to the best of your advantage.
You might have seen the full-page letter, urging South Australians not to travel this Easter, from our state’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier and signed by mayors representing key tourism local government areas across the state – it featured in The Advertiser on Saturday and will also be run in regional papers this week. It is an absolute historical first that the SATC is urging people not to travel and not to holiday in South Australia. But it is absolutely necessary, and we all need to play our part to stop the spread.
We’re helping drive the “stop the spread” message even further this week, across digital and social channels. We also launched SATV – a new online platform for ‘lounge room tourism’. At an incredibly tough time for our industry, in which visitors can’t travel to or within South Australia, SATV brings South Australia to would-be visitors, with specially curated content hosted and guided by AFL Crows’ captain Rory Sloane and his TV presenter wife Bel. SATV features local operators and businesses that have adapted their business model during COVID-19 restrictions to offer new innovative ways to still purchase, experience and enjoy their product or service – and connects them with consumers, as well as promoting the importance of buying local. It will also act as a live-content hub, showcasing some of our state’s iconic regions and operators, keeping cooped-up travellers and the community inspired for when it is safe to travel again.
As I touch on in my video message (see the full edition available at the link below), last Friday’s announcement of the State Government’s $5.7 million designed specifically for our sector has already seen a strong uptake. We’ve received lots of grant applications and we’re reaching out to everyone who has sent in questions via the email@example.com email or posted questions on our social media posts, trying to have as many conversations on the phone as possible. We know this is an incredibly difficult time for you and there are many of you and your businesses that are hurting. My team is doing our very best to help during this time, and respond in a timely manner.
A reminder that you may be eligible for other support packages, such as the Federal Government’s JobKeeper payment. To help you wade through the government stimulus package information and make sure you’re making the most of what’s available to you, part of the $5.7 million package includes a Resilience and Rebound Program which helps you do just that. There is the first webinar today for this program and I encourage all SA tourism and hospitality businesses to tune into that free webinar, which is hosted by SATC in collaboration with Deloitte. Register further below.
This edition of Tourism News also contains a collection of the various online resources, workshops and one-on-one sessions being offered to the tourism sector from our industry partners, to help operators and businesses survive – and recover from – this pandemic. See at the bottom of this edition for details of these.
And please, most importantly, look after yourselves and one another. Our mental health and wellbeing is especially important during these incredibly difficult times. I include details of where you or your loved ones can get support in this edition.
I wish you all a safe Easter and I hope you’re able to find some time to ‘switch off’ and enjoy this time you have with your families and friends, whether that be time be spent via a phone call, an online chat, or in person with those members of your household.
Read the full Tourism News March 2020 edition here.