South Australian tourism operators see swift recovery but rising costs a worry

South Australian

The rising cost of doing business is the main concern for South Australian tourism operators as they navigate a swift recovery since the easing of restrictions and border closures.

The latest Industry Sentiment survey by the Tourism Industry Council South Australia (TiCSA) showed a generally positive outlook with nearly three quarters (72%) of businesses reporting they were not experiencing a downturn due to Covid.

Covid concerns have been replaced by the recent spike in inflation with more than 60% of businesses citing rising business costs as a key challenge.

Almost two-thirds of businesses are either ‘extremely confident’ or ‘confident’ about the next 12 months. But the skills shortage was evident with only a quarter of businesses taking on new workers the June quarter, while 45% of businesses reported an increase in wage expenses, often as a result of attracting talent in tight labour market.

“Labour shortages, rising inflation, and an uncertain economy take the shine off what looks to be a pathway to the strong recovery of the tourism industry,” said TiCSA CEO, Shaun de Bruyn.

“We must emphasise that recovery isn’t immediate, and despite things looking bright, we must continue to work with industry to build their resilience.”

Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison said the state’s tourism industry continues to go “from strength to strength”.

“Market shares across all segments continue to be relatively high compared to historical levels,” she said.