The South Australian Tourism Commission has announced the second round of its AU$2 million Experience Nature Tourism Fund (ENTF), set to open later this month. The fund is designed to showcase the state’s natural landscapes and attract both domestic and international visitors.
The first round of the ENTF allocated a total of AU$485,800 to 18 projects, with a project value of AU$824,000. These projects included accommodation refurbishments, new vehicle purchases, and marketing initiatives, including content creation.
The grants, ranging from AU$10,000 to AU$50,000, are available for new and improved nature-based tourism products and experiences in or near a national park, reserve, wilderness protection area, or marine park, according to a news release.
The funding is available via two streams: Quick Activation Projects, with grants from AU$10,000 to AU$20,000 for projects ready to be activated, and Innovative Development Projects, with grants from AU$20,001 to AU$50,000 for larger projects with a longer duration and multiple elements.
Projects must comply with the statutory management plan for a particular park or reserve, demonstrate care and consideration of the natural and cultural heritage of the proposed site, and operate in accordance with license requirements set by the Department for Environment and Water (DEW).
If the project enters a national park, applicants must have in-principle support from DEW prior to commencing an application.
There are four rounds of funding available through the Fund, with AU$500,000 available each financial year over four financial years, commencing from 2022-23. Private sector businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and community associations across the state are eligible to apply. Round two applications will open on Monday 31 July and close on Thursday 14 September 2023.
The establishment of the AU$2 million fund was an election commitment to activate nature-based tourism. The SATC administers the fund in partnership with the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) and the South Australian Government Financing Authority. For full details, visit here.
Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison, expressed excitement about the application dates for round two, which she believes will further build a suite of nature-based tourism experiences and make South Australia more competitive in driving domestic and international tourism.
In round one, we saw some incredible products come to fruition – like a sailing journey to marine parks, a cultural immersion experience, luxury camping experience, and e-bike tours at Cleland Wildlife Park,” Minister Bettison said.
Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and Resort General Manager, Vicki-Lee Wilson, said introducing a new overnight camping experience at the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary will allow visitors to slow down, see more of the Ridgetop area with its beautiful and interesting geology, be out there when the light is best, and animals are more active, and experience the spectacular sky in a very, very dark place.
Southern Ocean Walk owner and operator, Barry Duykers, said the Southern Ocean Walk represents a profound opportunity for guests to experience some of South Australia’s most spectacular natural scenery.
“It epitomises nature-based tourism at its best,” Duykers said.