International visitors to the Flinders Ranges and Outback have contributed to a 38 per cent increase in tourism spending in South Australia – lifting expenditure to a record $954 million – new figures out today show.
In the 12 months to March 2016, an estimated 36,000 international visitors travelled to the Flinders Ranges and Outback, staying 181,000 nights, according to the latest International Visitor Survey results.
Spending by international tourists visiting the Flinders Ranges and Outback has increased by 23 per cent during the past decade (December 2005 to December 2015).
International visitor numbers to South Australia grew by 7.6 per cent to a record 410,000, with more than a quarter of these visitors – 141,000 staying 1.729 million nights – flocking to regional South Australia.
The latest figures show South Australia has achieved exceptional growth - ahead of the national average. Night visits have risen by 13 per cent – outperforming the national average of 7.6 per cent.
Visitors from the United States have soared by a massive 41 per cent, while visitors from the United Kingdom are up by 17 per cent and European expenditure up by 20 per cent.
Tourism is one of South Australia’s key economic drivers, which is why the State Government committed $35 million over two years in the 2015/16 State Budget.
With an additional $14 million committed to promoting South Australia internationally in the State Budget, the State Government – through the South Australian Tourism Commission - has undertaken 95 marketing campaigns all over the globe.
The International Visitor Survey results are released by the Federal Government each quarter. They follow excellent domestic tourism figures which showed show 2.2 million interstate visitors came to South Australia in the 12 months to December 2015, staying 10.1 million nights.
For more information visit tourism.sa.gov.au
Quotes attributable to Tourism Minister Leon Bignell
Nowhere in the world can people see 560 million year old fossils. The Flinders Ranges is really growing its international reputation as a global destination for discerning adventurers from around the world. The South Australian
Outback is incomparable, whether tourists are driving a 4WD or seeing it from a Trevor Wright air charter the landscape is awesome and unmistakably Australian.
Today’s results are exceptional and clearly show how hard the State Government has worked to boost the state’s visitor economy, with a goal of growing the sector to $8 billion by 2020.
The recent introduction of Qatar Airways into Adelaide has opened connections to more than 140 destinations including 25 European cities, with Qatar flights estimated to generate an additional $41 million to our visitor economy, creating 228 jobs across the state.
We are also one step closer to securing direct flights between Adelaide and Guangzhou, thanks to a recent MOU between South Australia and China Southern Airlines – one of China’s largest carriers.
This would create around 100 direct jobs as well as benefit our hospitality and tourism industries.
Tourism is big business in terms of the jobs it sustains and creates and it is made up of thousands of small to medium size operators who do a brilliant job selling the state’s attractions.
Today I had the opportunity to meet with some of the best of the best at the South Australian Tourism Industry Council’s 7th annual Tourism Conference.
I would like to thank each and every operator who has played a role in achieving these outstanding results.