Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, David Ridgway, will today embark on a week-long regional tourism ‘listening tour’ across South Australia’s Mid-North and Eyre Peninsula, as part of the State Government’s ongoing commitment to drive the regional visitor economy, grow exports and create jobs.
Minister Ridgway will travel more than 3000 kilometres over the next seven days as he engages with tourism operators, regional exporters and local government representatives in Marree, Coober Pedy and the Flinders Ranges before heading to Port Augusta, Whyalla, Port Lincoln and Ceduna.
Minister Ridgway will also attend the Maree Australian Camel Cup at the Maree racecourse tomorrow.
“In South Australia, we are fortunate to have so many high-quality, hard-working and passionate tourism operators who, through their individual endeavours, collectively help our regional economy thrive,’’ said Minister Ridgway.
“The best way to appreciate the unique nature of each of our tourism regions – and better understand the ideas, initiatives and potential challenges its local operators face – is to get out and meet those people at coal face.
“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to collaborating with industry to discuss new ways in which we can work together to grow the tourism sector, build the economy, create local jobs and boost the population in the regions.
“I’m looking forward to hearing from as many people as I can.”
The tour, which will involve industry forums, visits to tourism operators and meetings with local government representatives, involves a series of South Australian Tourism Industry Council ‘Meet the Minister’ workshops throughout each tourism region of the State. Workshops have already taken place in metropolitan Adelaide, the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island.
The issues and ideas raised will help inform the implementation of the Government’s Regional Visitor Strategy, designed to grow SA’s regional visitor economy by $1 billion, from $2.6 billion to $3.55 billion, and create 1000 new jobs by 2020.
Tourism is essential to regional economies and 40% of visitor expenditure occurs in regional areas, well above their 23% share of population.