Port Lincoln's Deco Beach receives tourism grant

DECO: Michael and Jill Coates are happy to receive tourism funding to upgrade their business, Deco Beach Luxury Apartments.
DECO: Michael and Jill Coates are happy to receive tourism funding to upgrade their business, Deco Beach Luxury Apartments.

A project to expand an art deco themed accommodation business in Port Lincoln is among 12 projects to receive a boost from the South Australian Tourism Commission's Tourism Industry Development Fund.

On April 11 the state government announced the latest group of 12 tourism businesses which will share in more than $1.6 million in funding.

This includes Port Lincoln's Deco Beach Luxury Apartments, which will receive $119,405 to go towards its $398,016 upgrade project.

Works will include upgrading the house immediately behind to fit the art deco style, as well as the installation of a swimming pool with a landscaped outdoor area, garden and barbecue area between the two.

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Owners Jill and Michael Coates said they were grateful for the government and the commission providing this opportunity to provide funding.

"We've certainly thought about (the upgrades) but having the opportunity to apply for the grant put it into action," Mrs Coates said.

"With the uncertainty around COVID having this tourism grant gives you the extra impetus to provide those extra beds."

Mrs Coates said they hoped to begin the upgrade in early June and hope to have it completed by early December, in time for the summer tourism period.

Local building business Kym Clarke Constructions will carry out the works.

Meanwhile the Coates have been seeing very high occupancy numbers as the Eyre Peninsula continues to see a rise in domestic tourism, with the majority of vacancies being filled at Deco Beach as well as Tanonga Luxury Eco Lodges at Charlton Gully.

South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive officer said the latest data showed South Australia celebrated its best month for tourism since the pandemic in January, and was fantastic to see regional operators taking up opportunities to invest in their business.

"We've seen regional tourism reach record-breaking occupancy rates, so expanding and upgrading accommodation in popular domestic tourist spots like Port Lincoln in the Eyre Peninsula is exactly what the market needs," he said.

"These grants mean regional tourism businesses just like Deco Beach Luxury Apartments will be able to attract more visitors who will stay longer and spend more, not only aiding the recovery of our visitor economy but increasing its potential for post-pandemic."

With this latest round a total of 42 projects have been funded under the program, with a combined value of $25 million.

Premier Steven Marshall said on of the key aims of the fund was to create new jobs and develop skills, and with project applications flooding in the number of funded projects would continue to rise.

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