SA travel voucher scheme called ‘stingy’ by opposition

After announcing borders may be open to NSW visitors this week, South Australia is looking to follow Tasmania’s lead by handing out travel vouchers to get more holiday-makers spending across the state.

The South Australian state government hopes the tourism voucher scheme will encourage people to book stays at regional hotels, which have been battered by the bushfires earlier this year followed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme also hopes to encourage stays at city hotels.

A similar scheme was put in place by Tasmania’s Premier Peter Gutwein, who announced his state’s $7.5 million program last month.

The ‘Make Yourself At Home’ travel voucher scheme opened on Monday, September 7, allowing residents of the state the opportunity to snap up 21,500 vouchers.

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The voucher scheme hopes to encourage South Australians to travel more in their own state.Source:Supplied

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All 21,500 vouchers for accommodation and tourism experiences were snapped up within an hour of being launched. The program was designed to get people travelling around Tasmania midweek, by offering rebates of between $100 and $150-a-night for accommodation for a maximum of two nights depending on eligibility, as well as $50 per person towards tourism experiences.

In the Top End, the NT government’s Territory Tourism Voucher is valued at up to $200, matching an equal spend by travellers.

But the plan looking to be implemented in SA is already being slammed by the opposition, who say the vouchers are significantly less than other states.

It is understood South Australians will be eligible for vouchers of up to $100 per booking for select CBD hotels and $50 for regional and suburban accommodation providers.

The ‘Great State’ voucher scheme, which will run from October 15 until the end of the month or when the funds run dry, will be valid for bookings with stay dates from October 15 to December 11 excluding Saturday nights.

SA Premier Steven Marshall said the travel voucher scheme will be a welcome injection into the tourism sector. Picture: Mike BurtonSource:News Corp Australia

Speaking to 9 News, opposition spokesperson Zoe Bettison panned the program, who said it is significantly less than other states.

“What we’ve seen here is a stingy tourism voucher,” she said.

“What this Government needs to do is backing in this industry … and it’s simply not good enough. We’ve seen NT and Tasmania come out with quite generous tourism vouchers and that’s what we supported.”

The vouchers will be available for stays at both regional and city hotels.Source:Supplied

Premier Steven Marshall said the scheme was a “call to arms” for South Australians, who should use the vouchers to “reward themselves” and also help out the industry.

“This is a call to arms for South Australians to continue to back the local tourism industry by

rewarding themselves with a guilt-free ‘staycation’ in one of our many excellent hotels or accommodation providers,” he said.

“Every additional hotel night booked will result in positive flow-on benefits across the sector, as jobs – from front of house staff to chefs, cleaners and baristas – are supported”.

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