International visitors spending more in SA than ever before

01 June 2016

Hon Leon Bignell MP
Minister for Tourism

A 40 per cent increase in spending in the past year has seen international visitors inject a record $954 million into South Australia's visitor economy according to new figures out today.

In the 12 months to March 2016, spending was at an all-time high and visitor numbers to South Australia grew by 7.6 per cent to a record 410,000.

The latest International Visitor Survey results 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.

The number of visitors from China increased by 2.4 per cent with year on year growth during the past three years. International visitor expenditure from Asia is up 44 per cent, with China leading the way up 34 per cent.

The education sector is up by 59 per cent from $223 million to $355 million – its highest result on record.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell
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.

Game changers such as the redeveloped Adelaide Oval and Convention Centre – and the events we hold there – are helping to put SA on the map as we market our state to the world.

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.

Background
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.

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