Eyre Hotel Matthews Hospitality

South Australian pub group Matthews Hospitality have been awarded their second Tourism Industry Development Fund (TIDF) grant, this time for the Eyre Hotel in Whyalla.

The South Australian Government has awarded the group a $431,250 grant towards its $1.43m renovation of the Eyre Hotel. The renovation is focused on upgrading its tourism-focused components, including lifting accommodation to a four-star standard.

CEO Andrew Kemp has identified that the tourism opportunities for the Eyre Hotel, due to its location in Whyalla, could help drive business both for the venue and the local community.

“The Eyre Hotel is the first hotel you see as you enter Whyalla from Adelaide. It has been an integral part of the community for 60 years.

“Whyalla is where the desert meets the sea. The upper Spencer Gulf is home to one of the most amazing natural events in Australia, the annual migration of Giant Cuttlefish.

“We want to create tourism accommodation that champions local produce, art, businesses and tourism experiences,” Kemp stated.

The upgrade of the hotel will also include the creation of Eyre Pantry, a retail store that will allow visitors to buy a range of local foodstuffs and other products made in the area.

“Whether its Adelaide families road-tripping across our state, adventurers signing up for a local diving tour, or interstate tourists exploring SA, we want to offer them a great accommodation experience,” stated Kemp.

To kick off its showcase of local producers, Eyre Hotel will be hosting a ‘Tasting Australia’ event on 17 July. The Pig ‘N’ Pale American BBQ will showcase local producers with Arno Bay pulled lamb shoulder, Boston Bay slow-cooked Berkshire suckling pig and Port Lincoln’s Beer Garden Brewing.

A group-wide focus

Matthews Hospitality recently announced that intrastate tourism has become a major focus for its venues, with the group committing $13 million to enhancing tourism opportunities associated with its pubs, and in conjunction with other local businesses.

As such the TIDF grant for Eyre Hotel is the second the group has been awarded, having last month received $336,740 towards its $1.12m renovation of Mount Gambier Hotel, which will also upgrade accommodation facilities, as well create local tours and overnight tourism packages.

“With COVID increasing intrastate travel, our regional venues have been doing well. This has contributed to increased business confidence that’s led us to make this investment,” Kemp stated.

“We thank the South Australian government for this latest grant. It will help drive the tourism economy on Eyre Peninsula generating spin-off effects for local businesses.”

You can read more from Kemp on the group’s tourism focus in the latest issue of Australian Hotelier below.

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