Statement from the South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive, Rodney Harrex:
The South Australian Tourism Commission welcomes the decision by Premier Steven Marshall and our state’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier today to ease restrictions on intrastate travel and outdoor cafes.
The SATC has been working closely with South Australia’s tourism industry across all 11 of our state’s regions, including hosting a series of roundtable discussions just last week, to hear directly from regional tourism representatives about the impacts of COVID-19.
We heard loud and clear that our regions are eager to welcome back fellow South Australians as soon as health officials advise that it is safe for them to do so.
Our state’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier has done a fantastic job in leading South Australia through this pandemic to date and has made it clear that these plans are sensible, and restrictions are being lifted in way to manage the risk of COVID-19 spreading in our state.
The SATC has been working closely with SA Health providing advice and feedback gathered directly from regional community leaders and tourism representatives, and we are informing the plan for how our state can lift restrictions on tourism and hospitality.
There’s no doubt that our state’s tourism industry is hurting and there remains uncertainty about what lies ahead. The 3 step plan outlined by the Premier provides a solid framework for our sector to plan their next steps and move forward, and we will continue to assist operators to help them get through this crisis and be in the best possible position to rebound.
Before this crisis, the South Australian visitor economy was at an all-time high – reaching a record $8.1 billion in visitor expenditure, and being recognised across the world as an innovative, creative leader in tourism. What this gives us is an outstanding platform from which to launch again, and today’s announcement is the first sign that we can start to rebound and bounce back out of this stronger.
We’re here to support our operators – and importantly, encourage South Australians to travel and spend in the regions. Let’s redirect some of the $3.3 billion that South Australians spend on overseas holidays, back into our state, and into the pockets of our 18,000 tourism operators.
For details of the three-step South Australian roadmap for easing COVID-19 restrictions announced by the Premier Steven Marshall on 8 May 2020, see covid-19.sa.gov.au/recovery.
The roadmap includes easing of restrictions from 11 May (Step 1) on regional travel, incorporating campgrounds and caravan parks, as well as limited outdoor dining for restaurants and cafes. Step 2 from 8 June includes seated dining, cinemas and theatres and galleries.