The Marshall Liberal Government will provide fee and rent relief for nearly 300 South Australian nature-based tourism businesses who have been significantly impacted in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
Commercial tour operator (CTO) licence fees will be waived for six months from April 1, rents for properties leased on Crown Land will also be waived.
CTO businesses in South Australia are hugely diverse providing nature-based tourism activities ranging from bushwalking, camping, bus and coach tours to boating experiences and fishing.
The $850,000 fee and rent relief is part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s $1 billion South Australian economic stimulus package to save local businesses and jobs.
More than 250 commercial tour operators including marine mammal and shark cage dive operators will benefit from the fee waiver and more than 30 tourism/hospitality sites will benefit from the rent relief.
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said commercial tour operators have been impacted as a result of closing of the State's borders, travel restrictions and requirements for social distancing.
“The Marshall Liberal Government has a strong plan to save local jobs and businesses in the wake of the coronavirus crisis,” said Minister Speirs.
“Nature-based tourism businesses have been significantly impacted by coronavirus mitigation measures introduced and it’s important we support them through this difficult time.
“Many of our commercial tour operators rely on national parks or Crown Land to run their businesses and usually pay licence fees and lease properties.
“By waiving these fees and rents we are easing the cash flow burden on businesses when they need it most and giving them the best opportunity to bounce back once we get through this pandemic.
“In the space of a few weeks once thriving local businesses are now facing uncertain futures through no fault of their own and our Government is stepping up to make sure we support them.
“The eco-tourism industry will play an important role in South Australia’s economic recovery from the impacts of coronavirus as well as the summer’s devastating bushfires and this fee relief as well as our recent Parks 2025 investment will give a helping hand.”
The fee and rent relief for commercial tour operators will be funded from the Marshall Liberal Government’s $650 million Jobs Rescue Package.
The fund will be used to directly assist individual businesses and industry sectors facing potential collapse and the loss of thousands of jobs due to the ongoing impacts of coronavirus and necessary new restrictions to limit its spread.
The Jobs Rescue Package is part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s $1 billion economic response to the coronavirus crisis.