Eyre Peninsula

Regional tour operator pleads for support as border closures impact SA business

Border closures have stripped SA’s regional tourism industry bare. It’s now up to us to us to help them get back on their feet, and Craig Haslam is the key to connecting the dots across our rich and beautiful region. Here’s how you can help.

Border closures across the country have left many South Australians disappointed they can’t travel interstate. However, the restrictions’ devastating tolls are closer and more severe than you think; School holidays, usually an extremely fruitful time for regional tourism operators, have kicked off this week, but recent news and closures have brought the usually bustling time to a dark halt.

In a desperate plea, Australian Wildlife Adventures owner Craig Haslam has called out for help after losing $100,000 in business this season.

Australian Wildlife Adventures provide Australia-wide tours, with large portions of their tours operating right here in South Australia. Showcasing the best of the region, the tours by AWA also give you an up-close experience with wildlife like emus, koalas, seals and sharks. Through Craig’s business, you’ll be connected with sights beyond belief including whale watching and breathtaking landscapes unlike any other in the world.

Essentially, they are the vehicle that connects people with regional tourism operators, like EP Cruises, across a broad number of regions including the Eyre Peninsula, Flinders Rangers, the Great Australian Bight, and the Nullarbor. So when Craig lost all that money due to interstate COVID border closure cancellations, it didn’t just affect his own business: The entire industry took a blow.

Craig’s heartache was evident when we spoke on the phone. His passion for the industry sung through when he detailed the process of telling these operators he had to refund all that money. His biggest concern was letting down all those that make his business possible.

“The hardest part as business owner was having to go to the Port Lincoln Hotel, and to go to the fresh fish place and go to Experience Coffin Bay and caravan parks in Ceduna and say ‘I’m sorry, guys, we have to cancel our allotment,’” he says.

South Australian tourism operators clearly need the help of their own. While we can’t travel interstate, there is a world of experiences at our front doorstep in our own state. Australian Wildlife Adventures is the key to connect and support SA as a whole, as they fill the gap that was harshly stripped bare by border closures.

There’s still a chance to lift the heart of South Australia up by booking a tour with Australian Wildlife Adventures and connecting the dots with all of the experiences on offer. The perfect family adventure or solo escape.

Not only do they offer incredible experiences, but they are the only tour company in Australia to offset 100% of their carbon footprint. They usually also explore areas of Western Australian, and as a consequence of the boarder closures, they have had to cancel many of their upcoming tours.

Australian Wildlife Adventures truly offers experiences like no other, and it’s time to stand together as South Australians and save our region. Book your wild South Australian adventure by clicking here.

Read more about the ultimate adventure experiences AWA can connect you with, here.

If you’re looking for other ways to support tourism operators in SA, check out our Facebook post, here.

If you’re unable to get out regionally, you can also support SA businesses doing it tough like The Smelly Cheese Shop, who also saw great loss following interstate border closures. Here’s how you can help them.

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