TiCSA calls on Government to support tourism operators making significant sacrifices

TiCSA calls on Government to support tourism operators making significant sacrifices

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TiCSA cheif executive officer Shaun de Bruyn stresses that recovery of the tourism industry cannot occur overnight.

TiCSA cheif executive officer Shaun de Bruyn stresses that recovery of the tourism industry cannot occur overnight.

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Tourism Industry Council South Australia (TiCSA) is calling on the SA government to commit to an extensive package to support the long-term recovery of the state's struggling tourism industry.

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Tourism Industry Council South Australia (TiCSA) is calling on the SA government to commit to an extensive package to support the long-term recovery of the state's struggling tourism industry.

This Agenda, developed following extensive consultation with members, calls on support across five key areas:

  • Business restart and reinvestment
  • Driving demand
  • Infrastructure and experience development
  • Business capability and workforce
  • Partnerships & collaboration

TiCSA is requesting an additional $81 million per year for three years to be invested into these priorities through funding, programs, and stimulus packages.

This figure represents 0.63 per cent of the government's SA Visitor Economy Sector Plan's goal of $12.8 billion per annum value by 2030.

The tourism sector has made significant sacrifices throughout the pandemic to keep our community safe, and as such deserve assistance to recover and rebuild their businesses.

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Operators such as Spirit of Australia Cruises, a family owned and operated river cruise company steeped in decades of history, have been challenged like never before.

Spirit of Australia Cruises Marketing Manager, Joel Hirsch said the last two years have been extraordinarily tough for them, and the entire tourism community across SA.

"The non-stop change of landscape when it comes to rule changes and travel restrictions has meant our traditional international and interstate customers have dried up," he says.

"We have adapted, changed and invested significant money in interstate marketing campaigns only to have borders close or restrictions change which led to those markets and all of our forward bookings disappearing overnight.

"The sunk costs, lost revenue and customers has been extraordinarily challenging."

TiCSA cheif executive officer Shaun de Bruyn stresses that recovery of the tourism industry cannot occur overnight.

"As the country transitions from the health emergency phase into economic recovery and eventually, focus our attention back to growth, our tourism industry needs our Government's support", he said.

"Recovery is not business as usual and cannot simply occur with the flick of a switch.

"Ongoing support is necessary for the tourism and hospitality industries, which are the lifeblood of our state, to restart and reinvest."

Mr Hirsch said they applaud the priorities and support requests that TiCSA is making on behalf of the state's tourism industry.

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"Without such targeted support we're unsure how the next few years will play out," he said.

"The most valuable thing the state government did through the pandemic was invest in stimulating locals to travel in our own backyard - there is no doubt this is how we survived.

"But that local demand stimulation needs to continue for the next few years, not only to keep operators with a pipeline of customers to continue operating.

"But we see it as strategically important ... as Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) travel opens back up with interstate and overseas visitors, SA will have an army of grassroots champions recommending our tours and other experiences around the state."

Through the release of their Tourism Industry Recovery Agenda today, TiCSA has set out five policy priorities and associated requests for support for the recovery of this industry, once worth $8.1b and directly employing over 40,000 workers.

After a highly challenging two years, battling natural disasters, the pandemic, and ongoing restrictions which have wiped a staggering $2.3b off the value of our visitor economy, the SA tourism industry needs support now more than ever, for a bright and prosperous future.

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