22 Dec 2022

2022 goes out with a $7.3 billion bang!

The total value of tourism in South Australia has now recovered to 90 per cent of its pre-pandemic level with the State’s visitor economy just short of its pre-COVID value of $8.1 billion – a value which was also a record-high for the state’s tourism industry.

Making enormous inroads in 2022, visitor expenditure in South Australia has grown $1.2 billion in just three months alone.

The recent surge is thanks to strong interstate spending which is down just 2 per cent on pre-pandemic levels, and South Australians continuing to holiday at home with intrastate expenditure hitting a record-high $2.7 billion.

Data released today from Tourism Research Australia for the year ending September 2022 reveals:

  • Total visitor expenditure in South Australia came to $7.3 billion
  • During the last quarter, visitor expenditure grew a whopping $1.2 billion – the second biggest surge since the three months coming out of the COVID-induced low point in March 2021
  • Interstate expenditure hit $2.6 billion, up $700 million during the last quarter and just $58 million shy of its pre-COVID record-high of $2.7 billion
  • Intrastate expenditure hit a record-high $2.7 billion, up 5 per cent on 2019
  • Regional visitor expenditure (including by international visitors) came to a record-high $3.8 billion, up 6 per cent on 2019.

The data comes as South Australia’s tourism industry gears up for the festive season, with end-of-year celebrations helping fill hotels, restaurants and pubs, and school holidays boosting regional travel.

It is expected this will bring the year-end December 2022 expenditure total even closer to full recovery.

Acting Minister for Tourism, Andrea Michaels said it was a great way to wrap up the year for the state’s tourism industry, with an enormous surge in visitor expenditure in recent months.

"We’ve hit new record-highs for intrastate and regional tourism spend, and the interstate market is booming having almost fully recovered," Minister Michaels said.

"In fact, the total value of tourism in South Australia has now recovered to 90 per cent of its pre-pandemic record high of $8.1b.

"This is a clear sign that economic recovery is well underway in our state; we are getting noticed and we are giving people a reason to continue to visit, with a back-to-back calendar of new and returning events in the new year and the months ahead.

"The record-breaking performance for tourism in South Australia continues and we look forward to an incredible year ahead for our local tourism and hospitality businesses!"

CEO West Beach Parks, Kate Anderson said West Beach Parks spans more than one kilometre of metropolitan Adelaide coastline and is home to two accommodation properties in BIG4 Holiday Park and The Retreat at West Beach Parks, public golf courses, driving range, a golf academy, mini-golf, aerial adventure park, skate park, marina, sailing club, restaurant, café and community sports facilities and fields.

"The upsurge is strongly evidenced at metropolitan Adelaide’s iconic West Beach Parks which this month (December 2022) set a record for monthly occupancy of its BIG4 Holiday Park and The Retreat," Ms Anderson said. 

"December’s occupancy was the highest since the park was established in 1958.

"Occupancy has been especially strong since June.

"November 2022 was 32 percent up on November 2021 and accommodation sales for the 2022 year grew by almost 20 percent over 2021.

"Major events such as the Adelaide 500, Test cricket, the 2022 AFL Masters National Carnival and the first Royal Adelaide Show since 2019 were also major drivers.

"We are confident that next April’s LIV Golf Adelaide tournament at Grange Golf Club and the AFL Gather Round in the same month with all 18 teams playing here will maintain the pace.

"Tourism is back in business."