Another 10 South Australian regional tourism businesses are set to receive grants under the Tourism Industry Development Fund (TIDF), bringing the total amount of funding over the TIDF’s lifespan to $5 million.
The latest round of successful projects includes a major distillery upgrade, construction of eco-cabins and a houseboat refurbishment.
To date, 31 projects have been approved under the South Australian Tourism Commission’s TIDF across nine of the state’s 11 regions, valued at more than $20 million.
“With regional South Australia seeing record occupancy levels in December 2020, it’s important we build on this momentum to help get our visitor economy back to its record $8.1 billion pre-pandemic level,” Premier Steven Marshall said.
“The best way to do this is to invest in new and refurbished accommodation and exciting tourism products and experiences to give people more reasons to keep on coming back to our regions.
“This fund is simultaneously creating local jobs while future proofing our regional tourism sector.”
Craig ‘Hassie’ Haslam, owner and operator of Australian Wildlife Adventures on the Eyre Peninsula said the funding will be a “game-changer” for the region.
“COVID-19 has slapped our industry, operators and local economy around. Once international borders shut, I woke up to find my business had evaporated overnight,” Haslam said.
“We’ve dusted ourselves off and taken the opportunity to re-shape what we do. We’re now focussing on small, luxury group tours for the domestic market and our TIDF grant will help us bring a new type of visitor to the Eyre Peninsula.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our region to grow and the benefits of the funding will be seen by many local businesses from the fish shop right through to our amazing region which ticks all the boxes: we have seafood, wine, wildlife and adventure.”
Mighty Craft managing director Mark Haysman said the Kangaroo Island Distillery was thrilled to be partnering with the SATC to expand the distillery, grow the KIS brand and add to the KI tourist experience.
“We are getting set to take Australia’s most internationally recognised gin brand, Kangaroo Island Spirits, to the world,” he said.
“Upgrades to its humble site origins at Cygnet River will allow Kangaroo Island Distillery to become one of Australia’s most iconic experiential distilleries, attracting global visitation and contributing to the broader economy.”
The $20 million fund runs until 31 March 2022 or until all funds have been allocated.