03 Apr 2021

Easter brings egg-cellent jump in tourism

Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo Island
Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo Island

South Australia’s tourism industry is set for a more than $70 million boost this Easter long weekend, as locals flock to the regions to enjoy the extended break and summer-like weather.  

New statistics from the South Australian Tourism Commission show that for the four days from Good Friday to Easter Monday, at least $70 million will be injected into the state’s economy, giving businesses a boost on the back of a strong festival season. 

Operators across the state are reporting strong bookings through to the end of April, and data from the Caravan Industry Association of Australia shows South Australian caravan parks have seen record-high occupancy rates, above national averages.  

Latest data shows: 

  • January 2021 saw occupancy in cabins in SA caravan parks the highest in the nation, at 74% average occupancy – a new record-high and above the national average of 67% 
  • January 2021 saw powered sites in SA caravan parks hit 61% occupancy, the highest on record and in line with the national average of 61% 

South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive Rodney Harrex said the caravan park data is a strong indication of how regional tourism is faring and supports the record-high hotel occupancy rates seen in region over the summer.  

“It’s clear South Australians are continuing to get out to the regions in record numbers and support our state’s regional tourism industry after an incredibly challenging 12 months,” said Mr Harrex. 

“It was this time last year when I urged South Australians to stay at home amid the nation-wide COVID-19 lockdown and here we are now, projecting more than $70 million will be spent across SA this Easter long weekend, on the back of reporting all-time records for occupancy in region. 

“We’re hearing from operators across the state that forward bookings for April are incredibly strong, as locals and a higher number of interstaters book SA getaways. 

“As we head into the Easter break, and the upcoming school holidays and Anzac Day long weekend, I encourage South Australians to get out and explore this great state of ours – see the regions, enjoy the country, the coast and the outback, but also get into the city and support businesses across the CBD – it means a lot to operators and to an industry which has had it incredibly tough. 

Round three of the Great State Vouchers, targeted to tours and experiences, aim to further stimulate visitor expenditure post the traditionally peak April school holiday and Anzac Day long weekend period.  

Caravan and camping travellers contributed more than $460 million in visitor expenditure in South Australia for the 12 months to December 2020. 

“We have seen it come through very strongly over the past 12 months – people are more confident with self-contained travelling, exploring wide open spaces and being in control of their own plans,” Mr Harrex said. 

The caravan park data follows the most recent statistics from global data analytics firm, STR, which saw that regional accommodation occupancy rates over the 2020-21 summer months reach all-time record highs: 

  • December 2020 reached 60 per cent – the highest December on record, and an increase on December 2019 (55 per cent) 
  • January 2021 reached 64 per cent – the highest January on record, and an increase on the prior record-break made in December 2020 (60 per cent) 
  • February 2021 reached 60 per cent – beating the February 2020 result and the third consecutive month that regional occupancy beat the previous year’s result.