For the past 37 years, the South Australian Tourism Awards have been recognised as the pinnacle of excellence within our tourism industry, celebrating businesses who have demonstrated outstanding visitor experiences.

This year tourism businesses across South Australia have experienced the most challenging period to date, as a result of the summer bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic.

After careful deliberation, the Tourism Industry Council of South Australia (TiCSA) Board have made the difficult decision to NOT proceed with the 2020 South Australian Tourism Awards program and associated gala dinner.

This follows last week’s announcement from the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) that the Australian Tourism Awards program and gala dinner would be cancelled for 2020.

TiCSA Chief Executive Officer, Shaun de Bruyn, said the disruption COVID-19 has had on tourism businesses across the state has been severe and cannot be underestimated.

“The financial loss has been enormous, with many jobs and livelihoods also lost in the process,” he said.

“Right now, tourism operators are purely focused on survival and recovery, therefore we feel that this is the appropriate way forward for 2020.”

During this time, TiCSA will be prioritising the delivery of educational opportunities and industry advocacy to support struggling tourism businesses through their recovery.

“One of the key issues we are advocating for is the State Government to provide new funding to regional tourism organisations for marketing of our visitor experiences,” said Mr de Bruyn.

“This will be crucial to our survival as it will stimulate new local bookings and support job growth.”

The South Australian Tourism Awards program and gala dinner will return in 2021.

Tourism business can register their interest for the 2021 program and be notified as soon as nominations are open early next year.