18/01/2020 | Steven Marshall MP | More Jobs

South Australia’s tourism sector has hit an all-time high, with new statistics out today showing a record $7.8 billion being spent by tourists in our great state.

The latest tourism results released yesterday show the total growth in visitor expenditure is up 13 per cent during the last year.

Premier Steven Marshall said this is a fantastic result for South Australia and a huge credit to our hard working tourism operators around the state.

“We have an incredibly strong tourism sector and while this quarter has shown significant growth, we must remember there are significant challenges ahead for us in the wake of the devastating bushfires in some of our state’s most pristine tourism destinations.

“More than ever we need to get behind small business and our tourism operators to help rebuild the communities of Kangaroo Island and Cudlee Creek to ensure the recovery process is as quick and seamless as possible.

“While this data shows positive growth for the last quarter, there is no question that we are facing many challenges for the next quarter and beyond to sustain the strong growth of our visitor economy.”

The latest data reveals an enormous boost for visitation to regional SA, with regional visitor expenditure (including international) hitting a record high $3.4 billion, up 19 per cent – and now contributing 44 per cent to the overall visitor expenditure in South Australia.

Premier Marshall said both interstate and intrastate expenditure have grown strongly over the past 12 months, both reaching record highs.

“Interstate expenditure for South Australia increased 19 per cent to $2.6 billion – well ahead of the national growth rate of 13 per cent – while intrastate spending increased 25 per cent to $2.4 billion – again, beating the national average of 13 per cent,” Mr Marshall said.

“Overall, the domestic expenditure growth of 16 per cent - hitting $6.7 billion, which also includes day trips and combined with $1.1 billion from international visitation brings us to an overall record $7.8 billion visitor economy.

“The strong domestic expenditure growth was also driven by strong domestic regional expenditure, which was up 19 per cent to $3.3 billion.”

Premier Marshall said the solid growth was underpinned by recent South Australian Tourism Commission marketing initiatives, which had targeted interstate visitors across four different campaigns.

“A lot of work has been done in the past 12 months on converting tourism leads into bookings, and it’s very pleasing to see the level of activity has increased which is a great sign that people are not just talking about South Australia, but booking flights here to check us out,” Premier Marshall said.

New data shows that in the 12 months to September 2019, direct leads from the southaustralia.com website to South Australian tourism operators grew from 326,000 to 762,000, a growth of 134 per cent.

Premier Marshall also noted the strong results for regional SA, especially for our regional tourism operator’s right across the state as we head into peak season.

“Domestic overnight visitation to regional South Australia contributed a record 4.9 million visits and 17.7 million visitor nights to the overall state total. This equates to 63 per cent of visits and 63 per cent of nights, demonstrating the importance of the regions,” Premier Marshall said.

“Add in events such as the Santos Tour Down Under, Crush Festival, the Asian Le Mans and Tunarama – which all have a significant regional impact – and the cruise ships docking in Wallaroo, Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island, and it’s easy to see why we are seeing such strong results in our regions,” he said.

Last year, the State Government together with industry leaders released the South Australian Visitor Economy Sector Plan 2030, which sets an ambitious, bold agenda for tourism.

The industry-led and endorsed Plan aims to grow the state’s visitor economy to $12.8 billion by 2030 and generate an additional 16,000 jobs.

For more data, visit https://www.tra.gov.au/