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Tourism News January 2020

Umpherston Sinkhole, Limestone Coast

Welcome to the first edition of Tourism News for 2020. 
 
It's been a difficult start to the year for our sector – firstly with the tragic bushfires in December 2019 and January 2020, and more recently the outbreak of the Coronavirus in China, which has this morning been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation. 
 
We are monitoring both situations closely and working with government agencies to ensure the industry gets the information they need. This is important with all incoming and outgoing travel advice, particularly in regard to developments as they emerge in China.
 
While we acknowledge these difficult times, it is important to remember that our tourism sector locally is incredibly strong and has come off another record-breaking year. Our latest National Visitor Survey and International Visitor Survey results show the state’s tourism sector has hit an all-time high with a record $7.8 billion spent by tourists in our state.
 
Tourism is a key focus for the State Government and the announcement by Premier Steven Marshall in early January that he will take responsibility for the state’s tourism portfolio is evidence of just how important the sector is. The Premier announced the move, saying it would ensure the tourism industry gets the support it needs, particularly in the wake of the bushfires. Former Tourism Minister David Ridgway MLC has retained the portfolios of Trade and Investment, with a focus on growing export and investment opportunities in SA. We will continue to work closely with the Premier and the State Government to continue to drive the South Australian visitor economy. 
 
In line with this, I remind you that the SATC is seeking first-hand information from South Australian tourism operators who feel they’ve been impacted by the fires – either directly or indirectly – to better understand the breadth of the impact and to help inform the priorities for recovery. If you feel you have been impacted, please complete the short survey at tourism.sa.gov.au.
 
Despite the tough start to the year, there have been milestones to celebrate. In addition to the latest record-breaking IVS/NVS results, South Australia has played host to a spectacular summer of sporting and international events injecting some $400 million into the state’s visitor economy. We’ve just had the Santos Tour Down Under wrap up for 2020 and never a more important time to see so many people flocking up to the Adelaide Hills. Last year’s TDU attracted close to 50,000 interstate and overseas visitors, generating nearly $71 million for our local economy, and I look forward to sharing with you what the Tour achieved for our sector this year. 
 
I hope you enjoy this month’s Tourism News – a bumper edition. I note that our December 2019 edition was held-off due to the terrible events impacting our state at the time, and our desire to focus on response efforts.
 
I look forward to working with you all in 2020 and to helping our sector recover and rebuild, as we reach toward our 2030 target of $12.8 billion.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Rodney Harrex
Chief executive 

Read the full SATC Tourism News for January 2020 here.