The Kangaroo Island Tourism Food Wine and Beverage Association continues to demonstrate its commitment to the industries that fuels to a large extent the Island's visitor economy, its chairman Pierre Gregor says.
In addition to its focus on helping businesses navigate the post bushfire and COVID 19 scenario, the association has secured well over $600,000 in grants to support industry.
The latest success was $490,000 under the banner of Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery to assist the delivery of a series of events and other undertakings that will generate visitation, economic activity and also assist with post bushfire recovery by providing opportunity for social relief.
The undertakings are New Shoots Music Festival, Gastronomo - a destination dining event, the commissioning of an internationally recognised art piece for the KI Sculpture Trail and support for community project - From the Heart.
The association is well connected to the industry it serves and fully appreciates the very demanding times impacting our tourism operators.
Mr Gregor said that recognising this hardship was a prime consideration in reducing association membership fees by a very significant 70 per cent.
KITFWBA board and staff had a strong focus on the need for marketing in what is now a highly restrictive and competitive environment.
Initiatives includes the use of the digital arena, such as the tourkangarooisland.com website, print media and exposure via TV, he said.
"One of our exciting initiatives is an eight week regional TV billboard program resulting in approximately 750 by 10 second slots across prime news and travel shows," Mr Gregor said.
This will be launched in conjunction with the SA Tourism Commission's Victorian campaign once it is safe to do so.
KITFWBA has also developed extensive guides and blogs to increase website performance.
These guides include caravan and camping, hikes and walks, snorkelling, traveling with pets, accessibility, whale watching and regional dispersal guides.
The association is involved in a major SATC marketing undertaking that will see Kangaroo Island's inclusion in a full episode of a new TV show, 'Roads Less Travelled' to be shown across the Channel 9 network. The show will be tailored to the intrastate and interstate self-drive market.
Mr Gregor said that after understandable but nevertheless very bleak visitation figures in April and May which saw a 90 per cent and 50 per cent drop, visitation this June was up over 20 per cent on June 2019 and July figures also looked promising.
"Nevertheless with international travel shut down and state borders with traditional key markets closed, it will take some time for visitation to improve," Mr Gregor said.
"This necessitates a strong focus on the intrastate market. In addition to our own initiatives to grow this market we are working closely with the SATC to ensure that Kangaroo Island is included in their marketing program."