09 Feb 2024

New recreational fishing tourism strategy to lure more visitors to South Australia


Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula
Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula

A new strategy released today aims to grow recreational fishing tourism in South Australia to $468 million by 2030.

Developed by the State Government through the South Australian Tourism Commission in partnership with RecFish SA, the Recreational Fishing Tourism Strategy 2030 aims to create a thriving and sustainable recreational fishing tourism sector by attracting high-yield fishers from interstate and overseas, while encouraging local fishers to see more of their own backyard. 

Around 810,000 leisure visitors to and within South Australia include fishing as part of their trip. This strategy recognises the role that recreational fishing plays as a driver of visitation and aims to build on this momentum.

It is estimated that recreational fishing in South Australia generates $1 billion in economic activity. A subset of this is spent by tourists, with recreational fishing visitors currently spending $403 million throughout the state, mainly in regional areas.

The strategy sets out to tap into the potential to further grow the recreational fishing tourism sector by encouraging fishers who enjoy the activity locally to experience new locations across the state, as well as attract new fishers from interstate and overseas – with a focus on high-yield visitors – to help drive expenditure across regional South Australia. 

The strategy was developed with industry and public consultation including meetings with government and industry stakeholders, a public and industry survey, and an opportunity to provide written feedback. 

Download a copy of the strategy here

Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said with 5,000 kilometres of coastline, some of the best beaches in the nation, and the world’s third longest navigable river – the Murray River – running through the state and out to sea, South Australia is well known for its water-based experiences.

"One of those water-based experiences is recreational fishing. We know people travel vast distances in pursuit of a particular fish species and in doing so, they contribute valuable tourism dollars into our state and into the many regional seaside and river towns which rely on visitor spend," Minister Bettison said.

"I’m thrilled to see the Recreational Fishing Tourism Strategy 2030 released today and look forward to seeing South Australia realise the potential in recreational fishing tourism in our state."

RecFish SA Executive Officer, Asher Dezsery said Recreational Fishing Tourism is a key driver of tourism stays and expenditure to our regions. In fact, recreational fishers make a significant contribution to regional economies, through the purchase of accommodation, dining, hospitality, fuel, bait, and more.

"As the peak representative body for recreational fishing in South Australia, RecFish SA is pleased to see the recognition of the importance of recreational fishing to tourism in our state and supports the implementation of this strategy," Mr Dezsery said.

"By increasing the value and recognition of this sector, we can help drive better experiences for tourists enjoying recreational fishing such as bolstering our programs like fish restocking programs, habitat enhancements and fishing clinics, driving investment in access and infrastructure and supporting community events."