20 Jun 2023

Reel Talk; Rec Fishing tourism survey opens

The next steps in growing the state’s recreational fishing tourism sector – currently worth $380 million a year – gets underway this week.
A state-wide, industry led survey is taking place to help plan ahead for future growth of the sector, and to deliver on an election commitment to develop an integrated Recreational Fishing Tourism Strategy.
Recreational fishing tourism is an important component of the South Australian visitor economy – with around 810,000 leisure visitors to and within South Australia including fishing as part of their trip.
The South Australian Tourism Commission, in partnership with RecFish SA, is undertaking a survey to help inform the new strategy, which will aim to:

  • help the sector achieve its full potential; and
  • maximise its contribution to the South Australian economy, people and nature.

Recreational fishing tourism plays an important role in the wider visitor economy. It is an important driver of visitation across the state, with recreational fishers contributing to the dispersal of tourism dollars deep into tourism regions.
Once developed, the strategy seeks to consolidate South Australia as a key recreational fishing tourism destination and provide a framework and set of indicators that highlights the economic contribution of recreational fishing tourism to our state.
According to the latest Survey of Recreational Fishing in South Australia (2021-22) there are about 360,000 recreational fishers in South Australia, and recreational fishing contributes $1 billion to the state’s economy (about 1 per cent of the Gross State Product).
The survey runs from 20 June to 27 July, and can be accessed through Recreational Fishing Tourism Strategy | YourSAy. The strategy is due to launch by March 2024.
Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said recreational fishing is a regional driver of tourism – bringing many benefits to communities right across the state.
"Hundreds of thousands of visitors head to our rivers, reservoirs and the oceans each year to try their luck with a fishing rod, and we are looking to see what else can be done to not only better manage it, but look at how we can grow fishing experiences and destinations in South Australia," Minister Bettison said.
"Recreational fishing is an important contributor for tourism, bringing benefits to regional towns and communities including extra money injected into pubs, cafes, caravan parks and shops. 
"This survey is the first step in the development of the Recreational Fishing Tourism Strategy for South Australia, an election commitment to recognise the recreational fishing sector as a key stakeholder in the South Australian tourism industry." 
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Clare Scriven said the recreation fishing sector plays a large role in supporting our regional communities. 
"From accommodation, services, food and drinks, fuel, bait and so much more, recreational fishing is a key driver for visitors to experience South Australia’s regions, given the vast and often unique fishing opportunities in South Australia," Minister Scriven said.
"I am pleased that another key election commitment to the recreational fishing community is underway and look forward to the outcomes it will provide to boost regional economies through a recognised plan for recreational fishing tourism."