US travel company Collette has cemented its relationship with Kangaroo Island after backing its recovery from a bushfire.
Collette’s managing director, Dan Sullivan, made a special trip from Rhode Island to South Australia this month to meet with tourism industry partners.
It was also an opportunity to celebrate the impact of the international tour operator’s $20,000 donation to the KI Native Plant Nursery in February 2020.
The donation was to meet demand for habitat restoration and planting provenance seedlings in areas affected by the devastating 2019-2020 bushfires, which burned 212,000 ha of land, nearly half from the island.
On May 13, Sullivan met with key players in South Africa‘s tourism industry, including Phil Hoffmann of Phil Hoffmann Travel and Rodney Harrex, chief executive of the SA Tourism Commission.
They met to discuss new initiatives and plans for the travel industry, which is recovering from two and a half difficult years due to COVID-19.
“Collette is delighted to be working with our Australian partners to ensure that inbound and outbound travel rebounds triumphantly, after the challenging times the industry has experienced globally,” said Sullivan.
“It was wonderful to be here in person, to learn more about the regeneration of Kangaroo Island and we look forward to welcoming international travelers back to Australia.
“We are also very pleased with our growing range of small group tours, which includes a new Australia and New Zealand tour, which visits South Australia.”
South Australian Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison welcomed the visit and the engagement.
“With our borders open and more planes in the sky, the SA Tourism Commission is focusing on our key global markets, just like North America, to reclaim SA’s $1.2 billion international market,” said Ms. Bettison.
“Before COVID, 57,000 visitors from North America came to South Africa, making it our third largest market.
“We are delighted to welcome back our international friends and introduce them to the best of what we have to offer, such as our food and wine, our natural landscapes and our wildlife.”
Funding from Collette has helped KI landowners plant more than 10,000 trees and shrubs to replace windbreaks and shelterbelts that protect their stock.
Key areas have been revegetated to mitigate erosion created when native vegetation was burned on hillsides and coastal sand dunes.
Trees have also been replanted in new areas on the properties to provide habitat and food for animals, such as the endangered glossy black cockatoo and honey bee.
Veronica Bates, nursery manager for the KI Landscape Board, said the board was extremely grateful for the funding.
“Collette’s funding has made a significant contribution to supporting landowners on Kangaroo Island and has facilitated the restoration and enhancement of wildlife habitat and a functioning ecosystem,” said Ms. Bates.
The regrowth on Kangaroo Island is encouraging given the island’s position as one of Australia’s most iconic tourist destinations.
It comes ahead of the long-awaited return of inbound travel to Australia, with Collette welcoming travelers from Canada and the United States to our shores from September 2022.
Her new tour, “Australia & New Zealand Uncovered” includes two nights in Adelaide, with visits to Hahndorf and the Barossa Valley.
Collette has been a pioneer in guided tours since 1918.
With classic tours, small groups, river cruises and ‘flagship’ city breaks, there are over 160 tours that travel to over 55 countries offering guests exceptional choice, value and quality. superior 4 star+.
Collette is a third-generation, family-owned global tour operator. Headquartered in Rhode Island, Collette’s Sydney office (opened in 2014) adds to the company’s global presence which includes offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Nevada.