Record number of international visitors as SA prepares for China Southern flight

07 December 2016

South Australia has attracted a record number of international visitors and they are spending more than ever, data released today shows.

International visitors spent $970 million in South Australia during the past year, up 19 per cent on the previous year - and significantly outperforming the national average.

The outstanding results coincide with the State Government’s roll-out of Chinese language signage ahead of next week’s inaugural China Southern flight from Guangzhou to Adelaide.

The Australian International Visitor Survey results show from September 2015 to September 2016:

  • South Australia attracted a record 430,000 international visitors – a 9.6 per cent increase from 392,000 the previous year.
  • 91 per cent of international visitors (367,000 visitors) spent time in Adelaide.
  • The Limestone Coast followed with 46,000 visitors, closely followed by Kangaroo Island and the Flinders Ranges and Outback.
  • 38,000 Chinese visitors enjoyed South Australia during the 12 month period and they pumped $240 million into the State’s visitor economy while they were here. This is an increase of 31 per cent on the year before.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell

South Australia is kicking massive tourism goals. Not only are we attracting a record number of visitors, we are outperforming the national average when it comes to how much visitors spend.

While only about nine percent of total visitors to South Australia are from China, they are contributing about 25 percent of the total spend in our State. This shows our strategy of targeting high-end visitors is working, and with China Southern flying here direct next week we expect both visitor numbers and the amount they spend to continue to increase.

For the first time visitors will be greeted with Chinese language signs at Adelaide Airport, on our main roads and key spots in the city. It’s so important we cater for Chinese visitors and these signs will play a significant role, in not only welcoming them to Adelaide but ensuring their overall experience in South Australia is even more enjoyable.

The signs will also be valuable reminders to South Australians that we live in a state named as the fifth best region in the world to visit. We should all be proud of what we offer. No other Australian state or territory was named in the Lonely Planet guide.

The visitor economy drives job growth in South Australia and, each day, we are literally surrounded by thousands of visitors from interstate and overseas. They are travellers who pump almost $6 billion into our economy.

The State Government has invested an additional $70 million to market South Australia nationally and internationally and attract major events and conferences and the results of this investment are enormous.

Our visitor economy is at a record $5.95 billion and we have been named by Lonely Planet as one of the Top 5 regions in the world to visit in 2017 and for the second year in a row we received the prestigious title of Best Events State in Australia.

This year we also launched a global tourism advertising campaign and Qatar Airways began flying directly into Adelaide in May.

In addition to this, the State Government has secured some massive sporting events and conferences including World Routes 2019 which could pave the way for more direct flights into Adelaide.

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