15 Mar 2021

Regional tourism eyes $4 Billion prize by 2025

South Australian tourism operators have today launched a bold plan to grow the state’s regional tourism sector to $4 Billion by 2025. 

As regional tourism boom drives South Australia’s visitor economy out of the pandemic, industry representatives today unveiled a roadmap to regional visitor recovery. 

The 2025 South Australian Regional Visitor Strategy (RVS) outlines priority action areas set by the state’s 11 tourism regions after extensive consultation involving more than 800 stakeholdersIt builds on the success of the 2020 strategy, which saw the then regional tourism target of $3.55 billion by December 2020 met and exceeded more than one year early. 

Premier Steven Marshall said regional tourism has never been more important to the South Australian visitor economy. 

The past 12 months have been incredibly challenging for tourism, but through our dedicated stimulus and support programs like Great State Voucher and the Tourism Industry Development Fund, we’ve seen growth in regional tourism like never before,” Premier Marshall said. 

More than 48 per cent of the state’s total visitor expenditure is spent in regions, up from 44 per cent at the end of 2019 – pre bushfires, drought and COVID-19. 

As we navigate through these extraordinary times, it is critical that we keep this momentum going and keep regional tourism strong for the more than 24,000 South Australians it employs. This roadmap being launched today which aligns with South Australia’s Growth State Strategy, is designed to do just that.” 

Regional Visitor Strategy steering committee chair Helen Edwards said the RVS was attainable because it is a plan developed by the regions, for the regions. 

“The first Regional Visitor Strategy saw regions work together with a common goal, achieving our 2020 target of $3.6 billion a whole 12 months ahead of time,” Ms Edwards said 

“Despite the enormous disruptions of the last year, regional tourism is proving its strength and its role in helping to kickstart the visitor economy. 

“Through working together, through investing in new tourism product and finding new ways to attract domestic visitors who will stay longer and spend more – we can work toward meeting our ambitious new target of $4 billion by 2025. 

The RVS steering committee, chaired by Helen Edwards, is made up of representatives from the Regional Tourism Chairs Forum, Regional Development Australia SALocal Government Association of SA, Tourism Industry Council SA, and the South Australian Tourism Commission.   

The 2025 RVS outlines eight strategic pillars that apply across regionscritical to the success of SA’s visitor economy. Each of the 11 tourism regions has a set of regional response priorities which serve as an action plan for the RVS steering committee to work with regional tourism organisations, local councils and key stakeholders to drive outcomes. 

2025 SA Regional Visitor Strategy strategic pillars: 

  • Marketing – showcasing each region’s unique experiences, targeted digital marketing, focus on domestic markets in the short-term.  
  • Experience and supply development – enhancing existing tourism experiences and creating new offerings which reinforce South Australia’s brand strengths (nature and wildlifewellness, food and drinkcoastal and aquatic, Aboriginal, outback and soft adventure experiences), and improved visitor infrastructure.  
  • Collaboration – working closely within and across regions, with other Australian states and all levels of government.
  • Industry capability – supporting regional operators with skill development to navigate challenging times.
  • Leisure and business events – create new and support existing regional events as a major drawcard for regions.
  • Promote the value of tourism – demonstrate the economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits of regional tourism. 
  • Enablers of the visitor economy  government support for new and improved public infrastructure, streamlining regulations for operators to innovate, and skill development.
  • Region by region focus – recognising that each region has specific opportunities and challenges to help drive a common target.  

For the full 2025 South Australian Regional Visitor Strategy, see: tourism.sa.gov.au/strategies/strategies/regional-visitor-strategy.