08/03/2020

tourists with a koala

South Australia’s iconic nature-based tourism sector – from pristine national parks to world-class visitor attractions, such as Kangaroo Island and the Flinders Ranges – will benefit from a major government funding injection.

The funding is to help grow the economy and create jobs in the wake of the devastating bushfires, drought and ongoing impacts of coronavirus.

Premier Steven Marshall today unveiled details of the Government’s new Parks 2025 plan – a once-in-a-generation strategy to activate nature-based tourism, and fast-track the recovery of vital regional economies, hard hit by national and international events – with an initial $22 million investment.

The initial funding will be directed to:

  • Kangaroo Island ($7 million)
    • Enhanced visitor experience and facilities at Seal Bay;
    • New visitor precinct at Antechamber Bay;
    • Upgraded visitor facilities at Murray’s Lagoon;
    • A signature camping experience at D’Estrees Bay;
    • New visitor experiences at Cape Willoughby.
  • The Southern Flinders Ranges National Park ($5 million)
    • Developing an international mountain bike destination at Mt Remarkable;
    • Upgrading trails for hiking, cycling and horse riding, including a new iconic multi-day hike;
    • To upgrade visitor facilities.
  • Ediacara Fossil Experience ($3 million)
    • To create a major visitor experience at Nilpena to showcase our unique Ediacaran fossils which are 550 million years old.
  • Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park ($1 million)
    • To renew visitor infrastructure and experiences in partnership with traditional owners.
  • Cleland Wildlife Park ($1 million)
    • To build a new purpose-built koala hold facility.
  • Nature-Based Tourism Co-investment Fund ($5 million).

Premier Marshall said the investment will fund a range of projects, from new visitor facilities and campgrounds to bespoke experiences such as an international mountain bike destination at Mt Remarkable and an interpretive experience at Nilpena showcasing unique Ediacaran fossils.

“This investment will be a major shot in the arm for our world-class eco-tourism industry and help fast-track the recovery of our regional economies, who have been hurting as a result of the recent bushfires, drought and the ongoing impacts of coronavirus,” Premier Marshall said.

“Our Parks 2025 strategy identifies a raft of economic stimulus measures my Government will deliver to ensure South Australia’s tourism industry continues to thrive – with the aim of doubling the state’s nature and heritage tourism expenditure to $3.4 billion over the next decade, creating 4,000 new jobs.”

Under the Parks 2025 strategy the Nature-Based Tourism Co-Investment Fund will encourage tourism operators to invest in expanded or new operations, with grant criteria to be determined in consultation with key stakeholders.

Tourism operators will also be expected to contribute to conservation programs in their local area such as restoring habitats, revegetation and rewilding projects.

“These partnerships will increase the use and enjoyment of our parks and revenue generated can be reinvested into critical conservation programs,” said Premier Marshall.

“Along with our $6 million investment in Deep Creek Conservation Park and the opening of reservoirs across South Australia for recreational activity, Parks 2025 highlights my Government’s commitment to conserving our natural environment and stimulating regional economies.”

For more information about Parks 2025 visit: www.parks.sa.gov.au/parks2025

Originally published on the Premier of South Australia’s website: Eco-tourism turbocharged in post bushfires stimulus