Government’s half price airfares scheme ignores tour and charter sector

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As you would know by now, the Federal Government has released an initiative called Tourism and Aviation’s Flight Path to Recovery, link to it here.

Adelaide has now been added to the list of eligible destinations.

Regrettably, this initiative caters to the ‘big end of town’. It completely ignores road and sea transport, and other vital sectors of the tourism industry. It is also extremely limited in geographic scope, with only 15 destinations currently chosen to benefit from the tourist dollar.

The tour and charter sector of the bus and coach industry connects thousands of tourists with hundreds of tourism destinations. It contributes over $5 billion dollars to the Australian visitor economy each year. The current initiative fails this vital sector in four important ways:

  1. Although Adelaide has been added to the list, the initiative is still geographically limited so many areas of our State cannot benefit.
  2. It ignores road transport as a means of inter- and intra-state travel. Many travellers prefer the comfort of tourist coaches for their long-distance travel, or indeed cannot get to certain destinations via other means.
  3. It fails to recognise that it is not just the airlines in trouble – the long-distance tour and charter sector is one of many other tourism sectors decimated by COVID.
  4. It is short sighted, there is no roadmap to eventually reopen to international visitors.

It is a gross oversight to exclude road/sea transport and other vital sectors of the industry.

Also see:

What can you do?

Bus SA encourages all tour and charter operators to:

  • Contact your local Federal Member of Parliament to voice your concerns and disappointment with not being included in the $1.2 billion support package from the Morrison government.
  • Don’t be put off if the local member is not available (Parliament is not sitting). Make sure the recipient of your phone call takes note of your views and ask them to convey the message to the local member.
  • Follow up the phone call with a short email outlining your position.

Please see the table below for a list of local Federal Members of Parliament in South Australia.

AIRPORT/ REGIONFEDERAL MP – select hyperlink to send email
SA (full State)Senator Alex Antic
Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham
Senator the Hon Don Farrell
Senator the Hon David Fawcett
Senator Alex Gallacher
Senator Stirling Griff
Senator Sarah Hanson-Young
Senator Andrew McLachlan CSC
Senator Rex Patrick
Senator the Hon Anne Ruston
Senator Marielle Smith
Senator the Hon Penny Wong
Adelaide Airport (already included)Hon Mark Butler MP (Hindmarsh)
Port Augusta Airport
Port Lincoln Airport
Ceduna Airport
Whyalla Airport
Cooper Pedy Airport
Olympic Dam Airport
Mr Rowan Ramsey MP (Grey)
Kingscote Airport (already included)Ms Rebekha Sharkie MP (Mayo)
Mount Gambier AirportMr Tony Pasin MP (Barker)