The state government will be launching a second round of highly competitive hotel vouchers tomorrow to boost the state’s tourism industry, which has been devastated by the pandemic.The opposition says the program should be expanded immediately to include restaurants and tours.
The second round of the “Great State Vouchers” will be available online from 11am tomorrow and is open to all Australians. It offers discounts for over 300 accommodation providers in the region and in the metropolis of South Australia.
Includes $ 100 vouchers to stay at hotels in Adelaide CBD and North Adelaide, and $ 50 vouchers to stay at suburban or regional hotels from Jan.. January to March 2021, except Saturday evening.
The over $ 2 million vouchers will be given out in two rounds to South Australians and those interstate states to ensure that more than half of the vouchers are given to locals.
Rodney Harrex, chief executive of the SA Tourism Commission, said hotel occupancy across the state was « quite high » over the Christmas season, but more spending was needed to boost the tourism sector.
« This was a response to talking and listening to the industry and we worked closely with the government to make it happen, » he said.
After the government claimed the first round of 50. 000 vouchers were exhausted in 90 minutes and an estimated US $ 10 million was added to the state’s tourism industry.
However, only about 20. 000 of the total vouchers actually redeemed, forcing the government to extend the booking date.
InDaily reported last week that the SA Tourism Commission released tender documents announcing that their third round of Great State Vouchers, which will be released in mid-March, will include tour operators, attractions, restaurants and ticketing events.
So far, only accommodation providers have benefited from the program, despite calls from tourism groups to include other businesses that have been let down by coronavirus-induced border closings.
In the tender documents, the SATC wrote that « local tour operators, attractions, restaurants and ticket events do not see the effects of previous marketing activities ». .
« This is partly due to the fact that some states have narrow borders or, in the case of (South Australia) circuit breakers, other states close their borders to those traveling back to South Australia, » the documents read.
« In addition, some government restrictions have made it difficult for some businesses to reopen and trade profitably.
“For these reasons, the third iteration of the Great State Voucher is focused on providing revenue streams for local tour operators, attractions, restaurants and ticketing events. ”
Opposition leader Peter Malinauskas has called on the government to immediately expand the voucher system to other sectors.
« Our tourism and hospitality sectors have been badly hit by the pandemic and once again the Liberal Marshall government cannot fully support this critical industry that employs tens of thousands of South Australians, » he said.
« Now they are also being hit by a number of canceled major events and the narrow scope of the tourism voucher program.
“(Premier) Steven Marshall’s first round of the program was oversubscribed and underutilized as people saw how narrow the vouchers were. He did not seriously address this in the second round of the program. ”
« We’ve tweaked it (the scheme), we’ve given people the ability to get off the freeway, and we’re going to get this out of it asap, » he said.
« We’re also looking at a third round that may include the seasoned operators who I know are a very important part of our tourism sector, especially in regional South Australia. ”
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South Australia, Tourism, Coupons, Discounts and Allowances
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