The end of the state’s first working week with relaxed restrictions and it’s been fantastic to see more people back to work in tourism and hospitality businesses, and a wonderful increase in visitors and patronage.
Today, we also head into the July school holidays and an anticipated surge in intrastate tourism. I was in the Eyre Peninsula this week, with the SATC Chair Andrew Bullock, where we met with operators in Port Lincoln and Coffin Bay. They reported strong forward bookings, and it was great to see a few grey nomads already out and discovering the regions. These regional visits are being well-received, and I look forward to getting out to more of the regions in the coming weeks.
More generally across the state, we have been seeing a lot of activity in regions close to the city, such as the Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley and Fleurieu Peninsula. Now that the school holidays are here, we’re now also hearing that – as people have more time to spend on the road – other regions are also experiencing spikes in bookings. We’ve heard from operators in the Flinders Ranges and Outback that they’re completely booked-out for the school holiday period, which is a terrific vote of confidence for our sector.
Also well-timed for the school holidays, is updated guidance from SA Health for transport and tour operators. In line with Step 3, an updated Guidance for Transport and Tour Vehicles is available on the SA Health website at Information for Business and Industry – COVID-19 to help this sector operate safely and manage the health risks associated with COVID-19. The SATC worked closely with SA Health on the development of this guidance, based on what we were hearing from the transport and tour sector, and how it could better recover. It is a great outcome that our recommendations were adopted and it’s really pleasing to hear reports from tour operators, such as SteamRanger Heritage Railway, that they are now operating full steam-ahead (pun intended).
Tomorrow, for the first time since January, visitors to Kangaroo Island will be able to self-drive through Flinders Chase National Park as it reopens to the public. This is great news for the local visitor economy, giving people another reason to get over to the island. I was in KI in June and saw some of the incredible rejuvenation on the western end of the island first-hand – it really is a sensational time to visit and those heading over for the school holidays can now enjoy the entire island, without restriction. Pictured above is a photo of Flinders Chase National Park in June. More details here.
I remind you of the free 30-minute COVID-19 Awareness Training that is available for tourism and hospitality workers. Upon completion, you can now request a window decal to display in your business shopfront – see pictured below. If you’ve already completed the course, you will receive an email soon with details on how to get your decal.
I urge all South Australians to jump on southaustralia.com and find something to do with your family or loved ones in the coming weeks. Winter is stunning across all of our state’s regions and there really is something for everyone.
See the full Industry Update – 3 July 2020 here.