It has been a very challenging time for the tourism industry in South Australia over the last few months, and there is a lot of information currently being circulated regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus).

The pandemic is continuing to escalate, with new updates on the hour. Unfortunately, it is anticipated that the situation in South Australia will worsen in the coming weeks before we start to see things improve.

The Marshall Government’s $350 million Stimulus Package announced earlier this week is very welcomed and shows a strong level of commitment to our industry, although details on where this money will be spent is still to be finalised.

Our members and the industry are telling us that cancellations continue to be received and forward bookings are a grave concern.

Aside from the financial strain that COVID-19 is having on our people and the state economy, there is also the personal sensitivity associated with this crisis as we all have parents and/or grandparents who are most at risk.

We encourage our members to remain calm and implement sensible measures following the ongoing recommendations advised by SA Health and other State and Federal Government departments.

As your peak tourism body, our focus is on supporting our members through this unprecedented event, as well as continuing to help drive the recovery process for bushfire and drought-affected regions.

We are currently finalising a State Government Stimulus Submission to help counteract the impacts of these events and boost our visitor economy.

Furthermore, we are working on a State Budget Submission that proposes an additional $40 million per annum across three key areas; product development, business events & incentives and marketing partnerships.

Yesterday the Australian Government also released details of an Economic Stimulus Package for small businesses to help them mitigate the impact on cash flow and retain staff. Click here for more information.

It is important to remember that we have faced global shocks before, including SARS, 9/11 and the GFC in 2007, just to name a few. We are a strong industry and our collective efforts will see us through this crisis.

Photo credit: Ben Goode