Giddy Up! Covid-safe Cup helps Kangaroo Island ride to recovery

Kangaroo Island Cup like no other is helping the Island’s economy bounce back following a turbulent and challenging year.

The Island’s economy has suffered a significant hit, first due to the devastating bushfires, and then the COVID-19 pandemic.

But thanks to the Marshall Liberal Government’s tourism grants and strong health response, KI’s economy is now rounding the final bend and eyeing off the home straight – with this year’s annual race meet drawing thousands of visitors to the Island.

The South Australian Tourism Commission expects more than 3,500 visitors to come to the Island over the course of the two-day event, with trackside numbers capped at 2,500 at any one time.

Deputy Premier Vickie Chapman has congratulated all involved in getting the event up and running, despite the unpredictable nature of the pandemic.

“The KI Cup is a must-do event that brings people from right across the country to this premier tourist destination,” Ms Chapman said.

“The Carnival is one of 32 regional events that receives sponsorship from the SATC’s 2020/21 Regional Event Fund, which has recently been allocated an additional $1 million.

“This will help spur new and innovative regional events and grow existing events, with grants of more than $50,000 available,” she said.

Further to this, the $20 million Tourism Industry Development Fund is driving job creation on the Island, with three local projects securing funding so far.

“The Kangaroo Island Seaview Motel, Oyster Farm Shop and Cactus Café have all been successful on securing funding for refurbishments and expansions,” Ms Chapman said.

“This will create jobs, improve visitor experiences, and, therefore, encourage tourism.”

KI’s tourism industry employs more than 1,000 people, with the total visitor expenditure on the Island around $140 million. One in three people employed on the island are involved in tourism – the highest ratio across SA’s tourism regions.

“Now is the time to explore your own backyard – so I encourage South Australians to put Kangaroo Island on the list and check out these new offerings,” Ms Chapman said.