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International tourism cracks one billion dollars for the first time in South Australia

The Centennial Cellar at Seppeltsfield Wines, Barossa
Leon Bignell MP
Minister for Tourism

International tourism is booming in South Australia with figures showing expenditure has cracked the billion dollar mark for the first time.

A record 436,000 international visits to the State in the year ending March 2017, drove up expenditure by 12 per cent to $1.1 billion – way ahead of the national growth rate of 8.1 per cent.

Chinese tourism is the top driver of growth with a 48 percent increase in visits to 50,000 and a total spend of $315 million.

The United Kingdom continues to be South Australia’s largest visitor market, followed by the United States of America, China and New Zealand.

Visitor numbers from India are also strengthening, with the market up 30 percent to 13,000 visits with expenditure increasing by 130 per cent to a record high $41 million.

Visitors stayed a total of 10.6 million nights, up 8.8 percent and exceeding the national average growth rate of 5.4 per cent.

The State Government has invested an additional $70 million in tourism funding to market South Australia nationally and internationally and attract major events and conferences. Of this, $14 million has been used to undertake additional marketing in China, India, Malaysia and Singapore as well as markets like UK, Europe US and New Zealand.

To view the International Visitor Survey Results visit

Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell
These results are absolutely fantastic and show we are delivering on our promise to attract more visitors and tourism dollars into South Australia.

The best money we can have in our state is the money out of the pockets, purses and wallets of visitors from overseas. That's how we grow our economy and create more jobs.

China is our largest market by spend, pumping an extra $100 million into our visitor economy in the past year - clearly our marketing investment in China and securing the new direct flights to Adelaide by China Southern is paying off.

But we haven't put all our eggs in the China basket. We continue to promote South Australia in other key markets. The United States has shown excellent growth with visits up 13 per cent to 51,000, while the Indian market is up 30 per cent to 13,000 visits and expenditure is up 130 per cent to a record high $41 million.

Our government has invested an extra $70 million in marketing South Australia – and our visitor economy is at a record $6.3 billion, plus we’ve worked with industry to create an extra 4000 jobs.

The State Government’s Bid Fund is also delivering results, attracting business delegates from interstate and overseas.

A strong tourism sector is imperative for South Australia and we are committed to investing in our State’s economic future as we work towards achieving the target of an $8 billion visitor economy by 2020.