A message from the South Australian Tourism Commission Chief Executive Rodney Harrex:
Dear industry colleague,
The SATC welcomes yesterday’s announcement by the State Government of an additional $650 million in economic support to save jobs and the establishment of an Industry Response and Recovery Council to inform how those funds can be best allocated to the industries hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.
South Australia’s tourism sector is facing monumental challenges and there is no doubt the economic shock of border restrictions, event cancellations and the closure of so many businesses, is going to be felt very broadly and for many months.
Tourism is a key driver of our state’s economy and the backbone of our regions, and that’s why it’s so important to support the thousands of small and medium businesses that have done incredible work to promote our state and attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to SA each year.
The Premier’s announcement yesterday includes a $300 million Business and Jobs Support Fund, to be used to directly assist individual businesses and industry sectors facing potential collapse and the loss of thousands of jobs due to the ongoing impacts of coronavirus and necessary new restrictions to limit its spread; and a new $250 million Community and Jobs Support Fund to help assist community organisations, such as sporting, arts and recreational bodies, non-profit organisations and some other industry sectors. See details of the package here. A new State Government one-stop-shop website for COVID-19 information and support is now available, see sa.gov.au/covid-19.
The SATC will continue to liaise closely with the Premier, and will feed into the newly established Council through its tourism and hospitality sector representatives, to help inform the state’s immediate and ongoing response to help operators stay afloat and rebound on the other side of this crisis.
The state’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier has encouraged families to cancel their Easter plans and stay at home. This is in line with the advice across the nation against all non-essential travel, to slow the spread of the virus. I know this will impact many of you enormously however we all must heed this medical advice.
Restrictions on non-essential business and activities
As you will know, the Commonwealth and State Government has placed restrictions on non-essential business and activities in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Restrictions on business and activities in South Australia factsheet explains which business and activities are prohibited and which can still proceed under specific circumstances in South Australia.
Support for industry
The SATC team is committed to continuing to support our tourism industry in whatever way we can. Many of our tourism operators have now pivoted their business to online and/or takeaway services, recognising that most of their customers are now at home and can’t physically travel to their location or experience it in the same way.
This week, we launched the first of a number of initiatives, the Facebook page SeeSouthAustraliaFromHome – which already has over 2,400 members. It is focussed on providing a platform for both general public and businesses to interact – for businesses to post their services, and for consumers to know what is out there and to access their product or service. I’d encourage you to “like” the page, utilise it for your business if possible, and share with your networks.
I would also like to encourage you to utilise your Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) listing as an avenue to communicate with industry and consumers. If it applies to you, update your listing with information about your adapted business model, including updates to the ‘Book Now’ link. By updating your listing, the SATC is able to promote these on southaustralia.com and other content pieces, helping drive leads to your business. If you are one of the businesses who have sadly had to close, I encourage you not to immediately disable your listing but adjust the wording and opening times so the listings will still appear on southaustralia.com and can be modified easily when ready to open again.
The SATC’s dedicated COVID-19 page on our corporate website continues to provide state and federal government details on grants and business support, as well as mental health assistance information. In these very challenging times, it is more important than ever that we look after ourselves and each other.
Rest assured, we are working hard to advocate strongly and passionately for our industry. I will continue to keep you updated.