15 Aug 2021

Two is better than one! More vouchers to experience – and stay in – SA

A forecast $90 million shot in the arm for South Australia’s tourism sector is on the cards with a further two rounds of the Great State Voucher scheme announced today.

Great State Voucher rounds five and six will be a win-win for all South Australians – with more than 75,000 vouchers up for grabs in spring.

Premier Steven Marshall announced today rounds five and six of the vouchers will hit the market in coming weeks – offering a mix of accommodation, tours and experiences across South Australia.

Travel vouchers worth up to $200 will be able to be used for tours and hosted experiences, and up to $100 for use on accommodation – providing a significant stimulus for the state’s visitor economy and helping to sustain and create jobs.

Across the past four rounds of the South Australian Tourism Commission’s Great State Voucher scheme, an estimated $64 million was injected into the state’s economy and feedback from industry is that it has been a “lifesaver” to business. The projected economic impact of the next two rounds could see the overall value land at a forecast $90 million.

Premier Steven Marshall said it is now well-known the Great State Voucher scheme is effective, gets people travelling, and creates an incredible return on investment while helping to keep businesses open and South Australians in jobs.

“More vouchers for use across all sectors of the tourism industry – it’s part of our plan to drive visitors and dollars into South Australian businesses, and keep our economy safe and strong,” Premier Marshall said.

“The number one aim of these vouchers is to keep the doors open for our thousands of tourism businesses – keeping South Australians in jobs.

“With each round of our Great State Voucher scheme, we’ve seen tens of thousands of bookings generated for operators across SA, and a spending flow-on in cafés, restaurants, bars and pubs, with more than $64 million pumped into the state’s economy to date.”

Highlights from the voucher scheme:

  • Bookings for the most recent round of Great State Vouchers – targeted to accommodation – hit a record-high redemption rate of 64 per cent and created more than 34,000 room night bookings across Adelaide and regional SA.
  • Nearly 45,500 people booked in with SA tour and experience operators as part of round three – the last round targeted to tours and experiences – from about half as many vouchers.
  • Analysis of previous rounds of the voucher scheme show it receives strong industry support. More than 90 per cent of participating tour and experience operators were positive about the uplift in bookings generated in round three, and reported that benefits went beyond short-term economic gain, as it gained valuable exposure/increased awareness of their business. More than half (56%) of consumers in round three were not aware of the experiences they undertook before the program. Nearly all participating tour and experience operators – 98 per cent – supported an additional round of vouchers.
  • Consumer surveys show it creates additional expenditure over and above the voucher booking. The majority of consumer spending for the hotel vouchers occurred “outside the hotel” – each CBD booking resulted in an average $512 spend and $597 in regional SA. Average consumer spending in round three, was $499 when booking a tour or experience with a $100 voucher, and an average $1,660 spent with a $200 voucher.

South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive Rodney Harrex said the next two voucher rounds will ensure South Australians keep seeing SA in what’s a critical time for industry.

“Out of lockdown and into spring, we want to get more South Australians out and about, booking tours, experiences and accommodation, and going to events like our newly announced Bloom,” Mr Harrex said.

“We’ve seen locals continue to throw their support behind the state’s tourism industry, as they book up the regions – breaking occupancy records for seven consecutive months since December. We want to make sure the whole sector benefits from this strong local demand, boosting bookings for CBD hotels and surrounding businesses, and for our world-class tour operators.

“Feedback from industry that two more rounds will run through to the busy summer holiday period is that it is well-timed and much-needed when so many states remain shut-off.”

Round Five will provide $100 and $200 vouchers for use on participating hosted tours and experiences across the state. It will launch in September for travel during the spring, including the school holidays.

The $100 vouchers will be for use on single-day experiences such as wine tours, wildlife encounters, cooking classes and helicopter flights. The $200 vouchers will cover multi-day hosted experiences –which in the last experience round included two-day tours to Kangaroo Island, weekend-long cruises on the Murray River, and hosted multi-day walking tours on the Fleurieu and Yorke Peninsulas.

Round Six will follow, in October, and will provide $100 vouchers for use at participating CBD and North Adelaide hotels (postcodes 5000 and 5006), and $50 vouchers to spend on regional and suburban accommodation.

Both rounds will be available for South Australians only.

More details and dates will be released following the respective Expressions of Interest rounds for operators to participate.

What industry is saying:

Popeye River Cruises Bianca Shuman said the last round of experience vouchers went so well “everything sold out”. “Our KI Spirits gin tasting tour was hugely popular, we couldn’t put on enough boats or enough staff to meet the demand created by the vouchers. We’re thrilled to have another round coming, and with the warmer weather ahead, there’s no better time for a river cruise.”

Earth Adventure (which operates nature-based outdoor experiences across South Australia) CEO, Andrew Govan said: “We are really pleased there will be another round of Great State Vouchers for experiences and with warmer weather, there’s no better time to get in a kayak or go rock climbing in great outdoors. The last round was a bit of a life saver for Earth Adventure after what has been a very challenging year.”

Coonawarra Experiences Simon Meares said: “The voucher program has been an extremely welcome stimulus for our business, with a great number of bookings and many of the vouchers redeemed included other guests paying full price for our touring services. Some of these guests also took advantage of the accommodation we offer and in turn, added to the overall profit margin. It also encouraged new visitation to Coonawarra and the greater Limestone Coast.”

InterContinental Adelaide general manager, Michael Gaedtke said: “The vouchers have been a vital support in sustaining business operations. They incentivised travel and greatly increased consumer confidence in knowing they will have a COVID-safe experience. This encouraged recovery in the short and long term and allowed us to employ 20 additional casual and part-time staff while providing stronger job security for more than 150 of our colleagues.”

Eos by SkyCity general manager, Jodi Brown said: “We’ve been thrilled with the results of the Great State Vouchers. The most recent round saw an incredible lift, with redeemed vouchers doubling on the previous round. It’s not just a surge for Eos, but also our signature food and beverage venues such as Sol and iTL, creating a higher demand for local jobs and suppliers.”

More information: southaustralia.com/voucher.