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SA tourism industry confidence hits decade low

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The business outlook of South Australia’s tourism operators last quarter reached its second lowest recorded level since 2010, according to a survey from the state’s peak tourism body.

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The Tourism Industry Council of South Australia today released the results of its quarterly sentiment survey measuring the outlook of 370 businesses in the October to December period of 2021.

The survey found more than 64 per cent of respondents were experiencing a “significant downturn” in business, while 42.5 per cent were operating with reduced staff or operations.

Further, more than 60 per cent said they were “worried” or “very worried” about their business prospects this year.

Medium and long-term business outlook also plummeted to its second-lowest level in the survey’s eleven-year history, with only the June 2020 quarter at the start of the pandemic more negative.

Businesses in this survey primarily attributed their pessimistic outlook to a lack of consumer confidence and COVID-19 uncertainty, with 36.59 per cent planning less future investment.

TiCSA CEO Shaun de Bruyn used the results to call for a greater support for the state’s tourism sector.

“Last quarter’s Barometer reinforces that now, more than ever, our tourism industry needs support to survive, and then recover, from the effects of the pandemic,” he said.

“A staggering $2.3 billion has been wiped off the value of our visitor economy since the start of the pandemic.

“As such, we continue to push for further restart and recovery funding for tourism businesses here in SA.

“Furthermore, we need tourism demand stimulus through increased marketing budget for the SA Tourism Commission to be provided, to boost business outlook for the future.”

Premier Steven Marshall flagged this week that details of another business support package will be unveiled over the weekend.

The announcement will follow the expiry of this month’s financial program, which has distributed grants of up to $22,000 to businesses impacted by this month’s heightened COVID-19 restrictions.

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