KI tourism to bounce back with $2.375 million from federal government

WELCOME FUNDING: Kangaroo Island Tourism Alliance chairman Pierre Gregor with the signed funding deed. Photo: Supplied.

WELCOME FUNDING: Kangaroo Island Tourism Alliance chairman Pierre Gregor with the signed funding deed. Photo: Supplied.

Domestic tourism on Kangaroo Island is set to bounce back even more, thanks to $2.375 million from the federal government.

Four key pillars will hold up the revitalisation project, run by the Kangaroo Island Tourism Alliance (KITA), according to its chair Pierre Gregor.

One will see visitor packages and experiences promoted in domestic tourism markets throughout Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland.

A second will help tourism operators and industries build capacity to host more interstate visitors.

The third is aimed at encouraging domestic visitors to come to the island during quiet periods through marketing, and analysing current and emerging interstate tourism markets to entice them to the region.

The final part is the silos at Kingscote being covered in art to draw in more tourists and encourage them to shop at the nearby retail outlets.

Mr Gregor said KITA had worked hard to develop the initiatives and was keen to see them implemented.

"Whilst there has been a bounce-back in terms of visitation, the money will continue to promote Kangaroo Island in domestic markets," he said.

"It is a significant amount of money, and we will try to leverage it as much as we can.

"Kangaroo Island has a heavy reliance on tourism ... this is making sure it is on Australians' minds as a destination."

He said the project would be undertaken over the next 12 months and would include ongoing industry engagement to ensure their ideas are heard and its effectiveness is measured.

"The money provided will play a key role in facilitating Kangaroo Island's tourism recovery by driving demand throughout the year, enhancing business capability and capacity and specifically targeting the interstate market to help fill the void left by international travel restrictions," Mr Gregor said.

"Kangaroo Island is an amazing nature-based tourism destination with strong appeal to the international and domestic market.

"Unfortunately, it has been heavily impacted by the major bushfires and COVID-19 resulting in the loss of the international market which made up approximately one third of our traditional visitation."

Senator for South Australia Andrew McLachlan said the Recovery for Regional Tourism Program grant would support local tourism jobs and businesses by encouraging visitors to the island's unique attractions.

"Kangaroo Island remains a jewel in the crown of South Australian tourism and this investment will help attract more visitors and support local jobs and businesses," Senator McLachlan said.

"This funding boost is a win for the local economy at a time when the region's tourism sector is turning the corner in its recovery after the bushfires and pandemic."

An industry briefing and networking session will detail the program in more detail from 2.30pm to 4pm on Wednesday, June 30.

Held at the Ozone Hotel, the session will inform interested parties about the approved projects and how they can partner with and benefit from them.

To register your interest, visit https://form.jotform.com/211750330821848

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