Nearly 800 jobs have been created and regional tourism infrastructure is getting a much-needed boost thanks to the South Australian Tourism Commission’s Tourism Industry Development Fund.
Another 11 new tourism projects have been approved, at a time regional SA continues to see record-breaking occupancy rates. The latest round brings the total number of projects funded to 53, with $8.3 million in grants and a project value of over $31.6 million.
More than 60 per cent of these are on track to ‘open for business’ by the end of the year, attracting more visitors to regional SA and a higher return for operators.
One of those regional businesses ready to showcase its new offering is Sidewood Estate in the Adelaide Hills.
Speaking at Sidewood to unveil its more than $823,000 expansion, Premier Steven Marshall said boosting investment in regional tourism is key to driving the recovery of the visitor economy and creating jobs.
“This year we’ve seen regional tourism absolutely booming, reaching occupancy levels never before seen,” Premier Marshall said.
“We acted swiftly post-pandemic to roll out this Fund and support South Australian regional businesses to attract even more visitors, who will stay longer and have more reasons to spend.
“We’re helping business owners like the family-owned Sidewood Estate to improve, expand and diversify, to recover quicker and come back stronger, and we’re creating jobs for South Australians in tourism and construction in the process.”
Sidewood Estate received a $246,000 grant in January for a $823,246 expansion to its restaurant and cellar door, with new kitchen and bar areas, and a new dedicated masterclass room, tasting space, and private dining room to offer more visitor experiences at the popular cellar door and tourism attraction.
Owner of Sidewood Estate, Owen Inglis said the State Government’s Tourism Industry Development Fund has accelerated Sidewood Estate’s growth as a major tourist attraction to what has already become an award-winning, highly visited new cellar door and restaurant in the Adelaide Hills.
“The phase two expansion and extensive renovation of what was once a humble Apple Shed into a luxurious new cellar door, masterclass, private dining space and art gallery has allowed us to create more jobs and a fantastic tourist hub only 25 minutes from the CBD,” Mr Inglis said.
“The new Cellar Door and “Mappinga Room” showcase Sidewood wines and ciders as well as some of the world’s most iconic and rare wines alongside products from neighbouring gin, cheese and beer producers.
“We are part of and proud to be leading a movement that adds extra dimensions and consumer appeal to the traditional, kitsch tourism hub of the Hahndorf township,” Mr Inglis said.
The 11 latest projects to receive a grant under the Fund include a retro ‘dream car’ experience and tiny home in the Adelaide Hills, major accommodation upgrades in Whyalla and the Flinders Ranges, new visitor experiences in Kangaroo Island, and cellar door expansions in the Fleurieu.
South Australian family-owned Matthews Hospitality group which operates Eyre Hotel in Whyalla has received a $431,250 grant for its $1.4 million refurbishment.
Matthews Hospitality CEO Andrew Kemp said as the first hotel visitors see upon entering Whyalla from Adelaide, the Eyre Hotel has been an integral part of the community for 60 years. The upgrade will feature a retail outlet ‘Eyre Pantry’ that will stock a range of local products customers can take-away.
“Whyalla is where the desert meets the sea and the upper Spencer Gulf is home to one of the most amazing natural events in Australia, the annual migration of giant cuttlefish. We want to create tourism accommodation that champions local produce, art, businesses and tourism experiences just like this,” said Mr Kemp.
Latest grant recipients:
Total project value
Private Farm Escapes and Retro Dream Cars
Development of a new tiny home, construction of a facility to showcase exotic-classic vehicles and run guided & self-guided events and car hire, and purchase of support vehicle.
Moorooroo Estate Wines
Expansion of existing cellar door to include under cover outdoor tasting bar
Major interior and exterior refurbishment (accommodation, reception/lobby area, front bar, kitchen and dining area; exterior) and the creation of the Eyre Pantry outlet to showcase local produce, art and tourism.
Hastwell & Lightfoot
Upgrade of an existing cellar door to expand capacity.
Development of a new rooftop cellar door and interactive wine experiences.
Star of Greece
Expansion and improvements to the kiosk, kitchen and toilet facilities.
Flinders Ranges & Outback
Black Jack Get-A-Way
Upgrade of an existing bed and breakfast accommodation.
Flinders Ranges & Outback
The Laura Emporium, Gallery and Museum
Development of existing building in main street of Laura to include a local artisan/produce outlet and antique retail space, café, art gallery and museum.
Flinders Ranges & Outback
Rawnsley Park Station
Upgrade of four units and development of six new superior units, including solar power generation.
Emu Bay Fishing Charters
Transformation of an existing shed dwelling at Kingscote into a cottage style accommodation to complement fishing charter business.
Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures
Upgrade vessel with environmentally friendly engine allowing for greater range and opportunities for dive charters. New tours to target domestic market including a night discovery tour and banana boat equipment for thrill rides.
The $20 million Fund runs until 31 March 2022 or until all funds have been allocated.
Grants range from $20,000 to $500,000 with a maximum of 30 per cent State Government funding committed to the total project value.