South Australia’s tourism sector bleeds $430m a month with 26,000 jobs on the line

South Australia’s tourism industry is bleeding almost $430 million a month as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

Up to 26,000 tourism jobs could be lost across the state over the next six months if the lockdown restrictions stay in place, according to new research by Stafford Strategy.

The research shows state lockdowns are estimated to have reduced day and overnight domestic visitation by up to 65 per cent in some regions, at a cost of $1.2 million a month.

“The industry and its people are in the fight of their life just to survive,” Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive Margy Osmond told The Advertiser.

“In SA the loss from international visitation is around $100 million per month and another $330 million from the domestic travel market.

“The industry in SA has never encountered a challenge of this magnitude with the aviation sector pretty much grounded, the cruise industry at a standstill and hotels in crisis with occupancy rates at less than 10 per cent.”

Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has conceded the tourism industry is bearing the brunt of the restrictions, but he encouraged people to start planning local trips once the restrictions ease.

“When travel restrictions are eased, for those who in a position to do so, it will be critical that we not only support destinations like Kangaroo Island and the Adelaide Hills who are still suffering from the impacts of the bushfires, but all our other tourism regions who are all doing it incredibly tough right now,” he said.

“Getting back into our tourism towns when it is safe to do so will be vital to the economic recovery of many businesses and to getting people back to work across the state.”