Tourism and Transport Forum has called on the Marshall Government not to choke the goose that lays the golden egg when it comes to investing in tourism, transport and infrastructure, in the lead up to the release of the South Australian Government’s Budget.
In TTF’s budget submission, Chief Executive Margy Osmond said, “We have asked the Government to increase their support to the tourism sector by further investing in The South Australian Tourism Commission.”
Foreign visitor numbers to South Australia dropped by 3% in the 12 months to December 2018 along with a 3% drop in expenditure, according to figures released last month.
“This decline in visitor numbers off the back of last year’s budget cut is proof that South Australia cannot rely on a ‘build it and they will come’ strategy,” Ms Osmond said.
“The drop in the numbers reflects the investment cuts to destination marketing funding made in recent years.
“We need to amplify the message to our overseas visitors to ensure that they know that we are open for business.”
Tourism, directly and indirectly, employs around 57,000 South Australians, contributes $3.1 billion in Gross State Product (GSP) to the South Australian economy and generates $7.9 billion of consumer spending across the State.
There are a further 38,000 South Australians employed in transport-related roles and the State has been investing significantly in its transport systems to keep pace with population and visitor growth.
Tourism Transport Forum has called upon the Marshall Government to commit to the following to continue feeding the state’s strong visitor economy.
1. Sustained destination marketing funding – The 2019/20 Budget must commit to at least $400 million in funding over four years for SATC. This annual $100 million in funding would enable increased destination marketing activities, both internationally and nationally.
2. SA Aviation Attraction Fund- Policymakers should consider a standalone Aviation Attraction Fund to grow aviation access from priority source markets.
3. Significant transport infrastructure funding- A priority for South Australia is to ensure that additional investments are made in transport infrastructure and that transport modes are integrated. An integrated transport service will be part of the solution in attracting private road users to public transport. Transport integration ensures that regardless of the mode or type of transport – they operate as one seamless entity.