27 Sep 2022

Billions of reasons to celebrate World Tourism Day

dArenberg, Fleurieu Peninsula
dArenberg, Fleurieu Peninsula

As the global community comes together to celebrate World Tourism Day 2022, South Australia’s visitor economy is charging ahead to recover its once $8.1 billion high.

A sharp increase in international tourism and a new post-pandemic record interstate spend have helped drive the total value of the state’s visitor economy to $6.2 billion – the highest it has been since its COVID-induced low point of $4.4 billion in March 2021.

The data from Tourism Research Australia released today to coincide with World Tourism Day, includes National and International Visitor Survey results for the year ending June 2022 and shows South Australia’s recovery is well ahead of the national average.

It is the first time the International Visitor Survey captures a full quarter of post pandemic international expenditure. The data shows since international borders reopened in late February, the international market has surged to $272 million – well up on its pandemic low point of just $15 million in March 2021.

Latest statistics for the year ending June 2022 show:

  • Total visitor expenditure in South Australia came to $6.2 billion – its highest since the COVID-induced low point of $4.4 billion in March 2021.
  • While still 23 per cent down on the record $8.1 billion 2019 high, it was ahead of the national result where expenditure has fallen 30 per cent. It was also above the impact forecast of $6.1 billion, thanks in part to a strong recovery from Omicron and sharp increase in international spend.
  • Since the nation’s borders reopened on 21 February 2022, the international market has grown to $272 million. While some way yet to its pre-COVID $1.2 billion, it is well up on its COVID-induced low point of just $15 million in March 2021.
  • Interstate expenditure has reached a new post-pandemic record high of $1.9 billion. While still down (28 per cent) on its 2019 value of $2.7 billion, it is well ahead of the impact forecast of $1.5 billion and well ahead of the national result where interstate expenditure has fallen 35 per cent.
  • At $2.5 billion, intrastate expenditure continues to be strong – down just 1 per cent on pre-COVID levels.

Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said as a sense of normality has returned to South Australia, so too has our valuable international market.

"Demand for our state has stayed strong and it means visitor expenditure is continuing to recover – with international spend on the way up, the best interstate spend since the pandemic began, and intrastate remaining strong," she said.

"While there’s still some way to go to our once $8.1 billion, the figures show our industry is on the right track and it’s extra special to hear it today as we celebrate World Tourism Day – a global acknowledgement of the importance of tourism and the contribution it makes to communities and economies worldwide."

d’Arenberg Chief Winemaker and Viticulturalist, Chester Osborn said as an international destination, the d’Arenberg Cube relies heavily on travellers from interstate and overseas.

"The response to international borders opening up was pretty much immediate and has been steadily growing. Now, on any given week we are seeing 10-15 per cent of people visiting from overseas – from the US, UK, Europe, Canada, South America, New Zealand and Malaysia to name a few. It’s been brilliant to hear so many different accents around the building again," he said.

"Locals tend to come on the weekends and public holidays, whereas interstate and international visitors represent 60-70 per cent of mid-week visitation so it’s such an important market and very encouraging as we head into the summer season."