Tourism leaders from across South Australia are set to join forces to rebuild business confidence following the devastation caused by the summer bushfires, drought and COVID-19 pandemic.
The hybrid Tourism Industry Restart Conference, held on Monday, November 2, will mark the first state-wide industry event since the severe disruption of COVID-19, which forced many tourism businesses into hibernation.
Facilitated by Jessica Adamson, the full day program will be held at Adelaide Oval and nine satellite events across regional South Australia, including Kingscote on Kangaroo Island.
The Kingscote event will be held at the Aurora Ozone Hotel from 9.30am on Monday, November 2.
Award-winning social analyst Mark McCrindle, nationally acclaimed finance and economics expert Michael Pascoe, Dr Tom Nehmy founder of the cutting-edge Healthy Minds Program, and Jamie Simmonds author of Rising from the Flood: Moving the Town of Grantham are amongst the line-up of inspiring speakers.
Local tourism leaders will also feature on a panel discussion, sharing insights on innovation and product diversification: Craig Wickham managing director of Exceptional Kangaroo Island, Simon Burley owner of Coast & Co in the Fleurieu Peninsula, and Michelle Hocking general manager of the Royal Adelaide Show and Wine Show.
Tourism Industry Council South Australia (TiCSA) chief executive officer, Shaun de Bruyn said a Restart Conference was just what the industry needs to recover and restore business confidence.
"Our tourism industry has endured the most challenging year to date, so it is fantastic that through technology we can provide new opportuntiies for operators around the state to connect and advance their capabilities," Mr de Bruyn said.
"The Restart Conference will foster collaboration, innovation and resilience to ensure sustainable industry growth for the future."
Premier Steven Marshall, who will be opening the conference virtually, said tourism was a key contributor to the state's post pandemic recovery and commended the work of South Australia's 18,000 tourism businesses.
"South Australia was the first state to open up and encourage regional travel during the coronavirus pandemic and I thank our 18,000 tourism businesses for how they have handled these challenging times," said Mr Marshall.
"The visitor economy is a driver of jobs and growth in our state and will continue to play a critical role in South Australia's post COVID revival."
Principal sponsor and South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive Rodney Harrex said the conference was an opportunity for the industry to come together in what's been an extraordinarily difficult year.
"Tourism has seen one of the most severe contractions on record, and the SATC remains committed to listening to operators and responding to their needs," Mr Harrex said.
"From online roundtable discussions and upskilling programs during COVID lockdown, to meeting with tourism businesses across the state and holding workshops in region, we've been on the ground talking with operators to help plan the path forward.
"This conference can continue on that momentum, as well as be a chance to celebrate the positive steps we've taken as an industry so far, towards reclaiming the record-high $8.1 billion at the end of last year."
Rodney Harrex will be presenting at the Tourism Industry Restart Conference to provide an update about the SATC's recovery plans.
Tickets are now on sale, visit: www.ticsa.com.au.
To view the full program, visit: https://www.ticsa.com.au/events/state-tourism-conference/program/