Major boost for growing tourism and international education sectors

14 June 2015

Premier Jay Weatherill

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis

Minister Leon Bignell
Minister for Tourism

The 2015-16 State Budget will include a major funding package of almost $50 million over four years to drive the economy and jobs creation in two growth industries – tourism and international education.

At the heart of the package is an unprecedented $35 million over two years to promote South Australia to domestic and key international markets, secure new major events and conferences and create thousands of tourism-related jobs.

These initiatives include:

  • $14 million on growing tourism marketing opportunities in China, India and South East Asia as well as traditional markets of the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States and New Zealand.
  • $6 million on marketing campaigns to promote Adelaide and regional tourism experiences to the Australian market.
  • $15 million for the State Government’s bid fund, with $5 million allocated to secure conventions and $10 million to secure new events. 

The additional investment brings the total spend for the tourism sector in the State to more than $266 million over four years.

Premier Jay Weatherill said South Australia can no longer rely on high commodity prices or the support of the Federal Government in sustaining our auto-manufacturing and naval ship building industries.

“We need to stand on our own two feet, take advantage of our strengths and support new and growing industries that create careers for South Australians,” Mr Weatherill said.

“One of our key economic priorities is for South Australia to be a growing destination choice for international and domestic travellers, which is why we are aggressively chasing major growth in the tourism sector.

“Now is also the perfect time to invest in the growing tourism industry and use the low- Australian dollar to our advantage.”

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said the Chinese visitor market - the highest spending of all our international visitors - is absolutely critical to increasing employment in our regions.

“This significant government investment will help reach our goal of 57,000 Chinese visitors by 2020 and generate a further 10,000 direct tourism-related jobs,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

“Direct tourism jobs have already grown by 1000 since we released our key economic priorities.

“There are now 32,000 directly employed by the sector with the potential for that to grow to 41,000 by 2020.”

Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said the additional $15 million over two years for the State Government’s bid fund will build on the 10 events already secured through the fund, which are forecast to have an economic benefit of more than $50 million.

“Securing major events is very competitive and it’s absolutely vital the State Government is equipped to compete on the world stage,” Mr Bignell said.

“The expanded fund will allow the State to secure and develop even more major conventions and sporting, music and arts events, just like the Liverpool match on July 20 which is expected to draw more than 9500 interstate and international visitors to Adelaide.

“Attracting these events will generate significant benefits for our visitor economy and local small businesses, as well as create and support hundreds of jobs.

“It also ensures we exploit the full potential of the newly redeveloped and expanded Adelaide Convention Centre and Riverbank precinct, which includes our world-class Adelaide Oval.”

In addition to the $35 million, the 2015-16 State Budget includes $6 million over four years to further promote and grow the Santos Tour Down Under (TDU).

“The Tour Down Under injects almost $50 million into the State’s economy and creates about 450 jobs,” Mr Bignell said.

“This year’s event attracted more than 37,000 visitors from interstate and overseas who travelled especially to South Australia to see the biggest UCI World Tour event staged outside Europe and experience our premium food and wine, stunning regions and vibrant city.”

The 2015-16 State Budget also includes $5.7 million over four years for a Destination Adelaide campaign to further market South Australia to international students and their families.

“This funding injection will help market Adelaide as the preeminent destination for education and create ongoing tourism and trade opportunities,” Mr Bignell said.

“The benefits of international students extend far beyond the institutions where they study.

“About half the students bring a partner or child and about a quarter of the students are visited by a parent during their stay.”

More than 30,000 international students are enrolled across SA and the sector is worth an estimated $972 million to the State each year.

The Adelaide Fashion Festival will also receive $2 million over four years to establish the event in the CBD with a renewed focus on Asian markets.

“Fashion events are rapidly growing in popularity in countries such as China, a key market in which we want to promote South Australia,” Mr Bignell said.

“Establishing the festival in the CBD supports our vibrant city economic priority and builds on developments already occurring in the CBD, including South Australia’s first Tiffany’s store and
a new global headquarters for local company Australian Fashion Labels on North Terrace.”

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