A national study has found a strong link between events and festivals and tourism in regional areas.
The study is part of the Destination Visitor Survey commissioned by the South Australian Tourism Commission and Tourism Victoria, and funded by Tourism Research Australia.
Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said the results helped tourism authorities understand what motivated people to visit the regions.
“Sixty-six per cent of people participating in the study said attending an event was the main reason for their visit to a particular regional destination,” he said.
“This confirms the State Government’s strong belief that events play a key role in attracting visitors to South Australia, and especially our regions.
“It also backs our decision to establish a $6 million Major Events Bid Fund, which will enable the South Australian Tourism Commission and Events South Australia to bid for and secure more major events for South Australia.
“Attracting the right events to South Australia will generate significant economic benefits, and help to create jobs, for the State’s tourism industry – especially in regional centres.
“Tourism is worth more than $5 billion to the South Australian economy every year, and attracting more visitors by offering an even greater calendar of events will help us achieve our target of a tourism industry worth $8 billion by 2020.”
The study showed 42 per cent of event attendees recommended the event destination to others, with 65 percent indicating an interest in returning to the destination within the year.
Minister Bignell said the study results showed food and wine events, as well as music events, have broad appeal, but sporting events are a greater trigger to planning a trip.
“We’ve already seen the impact of football’s return to the Adelaide Oval on the city’s hotels, with almost $2 million in extra accommodation revenue generated as a direct result of more people coming from interstate for Crows and Power matches at the Oval,” he said.
The study was conducted through an on-line survey, with 2,401 respondents who had attended an event in regional Australia during the past two years.
The research did not look at specific events or locations, rather it focuses on categories of events, with the aim of providing information for the investment in, and development and marketing of, regional events.
View the Events: Drivers of Regional Tourism report.