The number of international visitors to South Australia has reached an all-time high, latest figures show.
Federal Government figures, released today, show South Australia attracted 378,000 international visitors in the 12 months to December 2013. This is a 13.1 per cent increase on the previous year, above the national growth of 5.6 per cent.
Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell said the latest round of figures from Tourism Research Australia was welcoming news for the state’s tourism industry.
“The South Australian Government has worked closely with Adelaide Airport to secure more international flights into Adelaide and this is now paying dividends,” Minister Bignell said.
“In 2013 we welcomed the introduction of Emirates and AirAsia X flights into Adelaide as well as Jetstar flights direct from New Zealand.
“In fact, international airline seats into South Australia have grown by 85 per cent over the past two years, so it is great to see the marketing campaigns promoting these flights starting to pay off as we see more and more people come to our state.
“I was particularly pleased to see international visitor expenditure rise by 13 per cent to $727 million in this latest round of figures, which means the extra visitors are having a real and positive impact on the South Australian economy and our local tourism industry.
“As we see further investment in our state, with the Mayfair, Ibis and Quest Apartments all opening in the city this year, I think this is promising news for the future growth of the industry.”
Leisure continues to drive the growth in visitor numbers, with those travelling for a holiday or visiting friends and relatives rising by more than 15 per cent.
China, where the State Government is focussing its efforts on marketing South Australian tourism and trade opportunities, saw a 40 per cent rise in visitors to reach an all-time high.
Our key market, the UK, returned to growth and was up 18.1 per cent. The number of visitors from the USA increased by 14.9 per cent and Europe rose by 13 per cent.
The number of international visitor nights to SA grew by more than 1 million over the past year, rising by 10.6 per cent to 10.5 million nights.