South Australia Can Join Billion Dollar Club With A Strong Budget Focus On The State’s International Visitor Economy

South Australia could be poised to join NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia with international visitors spending more than $1 billion each year if the South Australian Government delivers a budget focused on growing the state’s visitor economy says the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF).

As part of its budget submission, TTF is calling for the South Australian Government to provide additional funding to attract more high-yield international visitors. With visitor interest in food and wine climbing and South Australia’s great offerings now is the opportunity and the time to capitalise on the growing trend.

According to the latest International Visitor Survey by Tourism Research Australia, South Australia generated $954 million in international visitor expenditure in the 12 months to March 2016 (up 38 per cent). NSW ($8.96 billion), Victoria ($6.74 billion), Queensland ($5.05 billion) and Western Australia ($2.3 billion) attracted more than $1 billion in international visitor expenditure in the previous 12 months.

“What a great success story it would be for South Australia to be able to declare within the next 12 months that it has joined NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia in the billion dollar club for international visitor expenditure,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.

“With South Australia battling one of the highest unemployment rates in Australia, the state’s visitor economy has been a ray of sunshine in an otherwise gloomy economic outlook. The visitor economy can be even brighter for South Australia if the State Government is willing to expand its investment in the industry.

“We now have more than one million Chinese visitors coming to Australia spending a record $8.9 billion over the past 12 months – that’s a lucrative, high yield, market for South Australia to be tapping into with a reinvigorated and well-funded strategy to further develop its visitor economy.

“South Australia needs to capitalise on the economic benefits and job opportunities that come from rising international visitation by backing its visitor economy with smart investment.”

Industry recommendations for the South Australian Budget include:

  • Boosting funding to the South Australia Tourism Council (SATC) to invest in more destination marketing, major events and business events;
  • Incentivising new airline carriers to develop additional services and grow existing routes;
  • Supporting South Australian tourism operators to become “China-ready”;
  • Upgrading tourist signage along the five touring routes and expanding Wi-Fi coverage;
  • Extending the 0-Bahn busway closer to the CBD and the light rail network from CBD to the airport.