Tourism Board saved

Stephan Knoll MP, Member for Schubert, is glad that the South Australian Tourism Commission’s Board will be spared from the Government’s list of boards and committees to be disbanded.

“For an investment worth $5.2 billion to this state, with a target of $8 billion by 2020, it is showing scant regard for the custodians and operators of this vital industry. If there was to be a weakening of industry engagement then the $8 billion target may as well be a pie in the sky target; it will never be reached without bringing the operators and industry along with you.

“The SATC oversees some $50 million, and there are few committees that oversee such money. By abolishing the SATC Board, the Minister would have complete and unfettered control/oversight of those funds currently administered by the SATC Board. This is not the norm around the country either – all mainland states have a tourism board reporting to the relevant Minister.

“In looking to improve the board the Minister should look to increase its regional representation. Regional tourism is at the heart of our tourism offer and I believe it needs an increased voice around the table.

“The Minister has form on not wanting to hear independent voices, not wanting to hear dissenting voices to his and that comes in the form of his many disagreements with South Australian Tourism Industry Council.

“In addition, both the Australian Tourism Export Council and the Tourism and Transport Forum have called for the Board to be saved.. The ATEC wrote: ‘The SATC consists of skills-based positions from a range of areas, including industry and non-industry experts…We are highly concerned that this decision will take responsibility away from a skilled and independent board, and deliver full oversight to the Tourism Minister. ‘

And the Tourism and Transport Forum wrote: The decision to abolish the SATC Board threatens to stall the momentum of increasing the tourism industry and with it the economic growth and jobs that a strong tourism industry brings.

“The objectives of the South Australian Tourism Commission are to work with industry, to jointly deliver marketing events, development programs that support tourism growth, and to help the government achieve its target of $8billion in tourism expenditure by 2020.

“Some of the key achievements mentioned in their 2013/14/ most recent annual report discuss supporting the development of premium tourism experiences across this state. We can see that work in the Barossa with premium tourism experiences and it is something we are very much taking on board with the Barossa and Murraylands to attract those high-end visitors to South Australia., The SATC has been very good in supporting us to do that, I do not think we would have received the same assistance if the board wasn’t in place. In the Barossa we can tangibly see the results of the SATC in their work with the ‘Barossa…Be consumed’ ads which have won numerous awards from around the world.

“The SATC Board has a lot of support in my region, and is highly recognised for the good work that they do. I am glad the board will be saved, and will continue that good work for the whole tourism industry.