Great news for our sector today, that from this Friday, cafes and restaurants in South Australia will be permitted to seat up to 20 patrons (10 inside and 10 outside) as well as sell alcohol to diners. In addition, Step 2 easing of restrictions has been brought forward to Friday 5 June so that hoteliers across the state can get an economic boost from the long weekend. Premier Steven Marshall attributed the decision to South Australians’ ongoing success in helping limit the spread of COVID-19, with just one new case recorded in SA in the last 28 days. See the media release here.
There is more detail to come on this in the coming days, which includes the “principles-based approach” and strict hygiene procedures for reopening. The SATC is working closely with SA’s Deputy Chief Public Medical Officer Dr Chris Lease to help inform the approach, based on feedback we’ve received from operators, regional tourism representatives and community leaders. One of the pieces of feedback we heard, was that the state’s visitor economy would benefit from being able to capitalise on the June long weekend if restrictions were eased on the Friday and it is great news that health experts have advised this is possible. While I hope this encourages even more South Australians to ‘book-out’ cafes, restaurants, caravan parks, campsites, bed and breakfasts, and other accommodation in our city and across our regions, it is important we continue to be vigilant and maintain social distancing.
As part of the ongoing consultation leading into June 5, there’s still work to be done on what this will look like, and we recognise that restrictions remain tough for many in the sector. It is a step in the right direction, and one closer to a further re-opening of the visitor economy.
A reminder, small businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions may be eligible for a one-off $10,000 emergency cash grant and have until 1 June to apply. Details here.
In some more positive news for the South Australian travel and tourism sector, the SATC has partnered with the Phil Hoffmann Travel Group to promote and actively sell South Australia to South Australians. With the resumption of intrastate travel, now is the time for South Australians to explore their own backyard – and as one of Australia’s most trusted travel professionals Phil Hoffmann Travel Group can help drive intrastate tourism. Phil Hoffmann’s team has created itineraries to uniquely appeal to the local market, showcasing experiences that many South Australians may not know about, despite many international tourists having travelled from overseas to enjoy them. As part of this partnership, this Saturday, Phil Hoffmann Travel Group will launch a Welcome Back to South Australia TVC – watch the 30-second TVC here.
Another announcement made today, SATC Board member Mark Young has advised Chair Andrew Bullock he will be stepping down from the agency’s Board of Directors next month to dedicate his time to his full-time position at Adelaide Airport. Mr Young, the managing director of Adelaide Airport Limited, said the impact of COVID-19 on the Airport’s operations required his full attention, and that his immediate focus was to help rebuild the direct international and domestic airline capacity at Adelaide – something that would be of benefit both to the Airport and also to the mission of the SATC.
Mr Young said he had thoroughly enjoyed his time on the SATC Board, in particular working with the industry to help position South Australia as an innovative leader in the nation’s tourism sector. He said the management and staff at the SATC were an enormous credit to the State who operated with a high level of professionalism and spirit. Mr Young said he is now looking forward to continuing to work with his team at Adelaide Airport, who are – now more than ever – dedicated to the sustainable growth of the State. Mr Bullock congratulated Mr Young for his contribution over the past six years, adding his expertise in the aviation sector has been invaluable in developing South Australia’s $8.1 Billion visitor economy.
“Mark’s hard work within our sector has been an enormous asset to the SATC Board and while we are sad to see him resign, it is entirely understandable that his priorities are with his team at the Adelaide Airport and in their role of getting the post-COVID airline operations back up and running as soon as possible,” Mr Bullock said.
Lastly, for anyone who missed our webinar with Deloitte and SA’s Deputy Chief Public Medical Officer Dr Chris Lease on 13 May, you can now view the recording here, which is also available on the Resilience and Rebound Program page here.
See the full Industry Update – 20 May 2020 here.