SA tourism sector generates record $8.3 billion, Easter spending to hit $173 million

SA tourism sector generates record $8.3 billion, Easter spending to hit $173 million

Robe, Limestone Coast. Photo courtesy of South Australian Tourism Commission.

New data released by Tourism Research Australia has revealed that South Australia’s tourism sector exceeded all expectations in 2022, generating a record $8.3 billion for the state’s economy.

This figure surpasses the pre-COVID high of $8.1 billion, and is 12 months ahead of what was forecast by a COVID tourism impact model created by the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC).

The recovery comes as tourism operators across SA prepare for a surge in activity ahead of the Easter long weekend – a four-day period that is estimated will generate $173 million for the state.

“What an extraordinary achievement for tourism in South Australia – an industry which has not only recovered its pre-COVID value but surpassed it; now worth a whopping $8.3 billion to our state,” Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison said.

“These are results that every tourism business across our state can be proud of – and every South Australian.

“Thanks to our world-class offerings, incredible city and diverse regions, our spectacular calendar of events, and the recovery of our airline and cruise sectors, South Australia is a destination of choice for visitors – and our economy is reaping the rewards.”

Between July to December 2022, the value of tourism in SA grew from $6.2 billion to $8.3 billion – the sharpest increase over any six-month period on record, albeit amidst high inflation.

Interstate expenditure reached a record high of $3.2 billion last year, up $581 million on the previous record of $2.7 billion spent by overnight visitors in 2019.

Meanwhile, intrastate visitors spent a record $2.8 billion in 2022 – a $250 million lift on the $2.6 billion recorded three years prior.

International expenditure has also seen strong growth, up from $307 million to $519 million between October to December 2022, well above the recovery forecast of $314 million.

According to West Beach Parks CEO Kate Anderson, the seaside retreat is thriving and has strong forward bookings throughout the rest of the year, as well as a fully booked Easter weekend.

"It follows an outstanding 2022 which saw more South Australians holidaying in their own backyard, along with greater interstate visitation to the Park,” Anderson said.

“The rapidly expanding major events program in Adelaide is also helping drive higher visitation, with the upcoming AFL Gather Round and the AFL Masters Games later in the year, among the events bringing new visitors to the Park.”

The data comes two weeks after the Adelaide Fringe announced that one million tickets were sold to events this year during the four-week festival, which ran from 17 February to 19 March.

The result translated to a total box office value of $25.17 million, resulting in $23.9 million paid out in box office to artists and venues across the Fringe.

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