The hapless Weatherill Government is now claiming an exciting Liberal tourism policy as its own.
“Today the Opposition Leader and I announced a Liberal Government would spend $500,000 to establish a dedicated wine trail from McLaren Vale to the Clare Valley,” Shadow Tourism Minister David Ridgway said.
“In response, Labor falsely asserted tourism was already booming in South Australia and claimed a wine trail – which it said was called the ‘Great Australian Food and Wine Journey’ -was already being developed.
“If the latter is true, I’d be curious to know when it was announced and when work was begun.
“I’d also like to know why, if you type ‘Great Australian Food and Wine Journey’ into Google, it comes up with ‘No results found’!
“Perhaps Google is wrong and Labor is right, but I somehow suspect not.
“I’d very much like to see Labor point to the start point of its ‘Great Australian Food and Wine Journey’, its middle and its finish.
“And then I’d like to know why tourists haven’t been able to find it.
“If Labor thinks tourism is doing well in SA, know why the Bureau of Statistics not agree?
“Maybe the Bureau is wrong, but I doubt that too.
“Tourism Research Australia figures released in December show SA tourism down yet again, pointing to a disturbing long-term trend - the industry is in trouble and shows no sign of improvement.
“South Australia again recorded the lowest number of overnight visitors and the lowest number of visitor nights of any mainland State.
“South Australia recorded just seven per cent of Australia’s visitors and just five per cent of the visitor nights.
“Under Labor we’re heading for a crisis in the industry. We’ve got a Government which spruiks tourism for election purposes but doesn’t deliver results.”
“The number of interstate visitors staying overnight in South Australia in the September quarter is a staggering 13,000 down on the previous quarter.
“The figures also show that South Australians aren’t even holidaying in their own State with the number of intrastate overnight visitors down by 134,000, and the number of visitor nights plummeted by over one million in just three months.
“There’s only one way to revitalize the tourism industry in SA, and that’s to replace Labor with a strong Marshall Liberal Government,” Mr Ridgway said.