Welcome to the October 2020 edition of Tourism News.
It was another great month of progress in the COVID recovery of our great state. We welcomed back vertical consumption in outdoor areas and dancing at weddings, boosted accommodation with a $4 million voucher scheme, and welcomed the return of our first international market since borders closed (while only one-way at this stage).
For our events industry, we had some huge wins too. Our Events South Australia team made the 2020 National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant possible so we can deliver Father Christmas in less than two weeks’ time to South Australian families and children, Adelaide will host its first NRL State of Origin series match this Wednesday, SA took the title of Best Event State in the Australian event awards, and we’ve seen regional events in full swing.
I recognise it wasn’t without challenges; we also made the difficult decision to not go ahead with the Superloop Adelaide 500 in 2021, and not renew the contract for future years. And we announced that the 2021 Santos Tour Down Under will not go ahead, with a smaller, domestic cycling festival to take its place due to the inability of international teams to attend. We acknowledge the gravity of these decisions and the immense challenges on the events sector to deliver large festivals in this COVID era. While we work within this new normal, our focus is on delivering COVID-safe events like this week’s NRL State of Origin game, and on securing and supporting a mix of smaller events that can be successful in our new world and which will drive visitation to – and economic benefit – for SA.
Our Great State Voucher program is continuing to drive overnight stays in the CBD, suburbs and the regions, with thousands already having checked-in to their stay. We’ve given consumers one extra week to make their bookings, and are actively promoting Sunday to Thursday night bookings and operators with higher availability.
We’ve had an advantage in SA over the last month; as one of the safest states in the safest country, and one of the states with progressive (but sensible) border openings, we’ve been able to target key markets like NSW to leverage pent up demand for travel. Our ‘See It To Believe It’ campaign going to air during the AFL Grand Final and NRL Grand Final, was an example of how we’re working to get SA on the must-see lists of domestic travellers while international borders are closed.
We heard from Western Australia, that it will open its borders to ‘COVID safe’ states which includes SA in November, and this will be another milestone for tourism in SA as West Australians will be more likely to book a holiday here without having restrictions on their return. It also opens up even more of the self-drive market, as it makes plans for the summer holidays.