Regional tourism reaches record high
Regional South Australia has rocketed toward its 2025 tourism target and a new record-high, hitting almost $4 billion in 2022 – some three years ahead of schedule.
Latest data shows regional visitor expenditure hit an all-time high $3.98 billion in 2022, just $200 million shy of its $4.0 billion target set for December 2025.
Six of the state’s 11 tourism regions have surpassed their 2025 visitor expenditure target, with four regions hitting a record high.
The Barossa and Yorke Peninsula have hit an all-time high and surpassed their 2025 targets by $35 million and $65 million respectively.
Latest regional tourism results (year-end December 2022):
- Total visitor expenditure in regional South Australia in the 12 months to December 2022 reached a record high $3.98 billion. It puts it just $200 million shy of the December 2025 target of $4.0 billion, and up $380 million on 2021 total regional visitor expenditure of $3.6 billion.
- Six of the state’s 11 tourism regions have surpassed their 2025 visitor expenditure target: Barossa, Clare Valley, Eyre Peninsula, Fleurieu Peninsula, Murray River Lakes & Coorong, and Yorke Peninsula.
- Four regions hit record-high visitor expenditure: Adelaide Hills, Barossa, Flinders Ranges & Outback, and Yorke Peninsula.
The targets are set as part of the South Australian Regional Visitor Strategy 2025, a strategy developed by the regions for the regions which outlines priority action areas as identified by the state’s 11 tourism regions after extensive consultation with more than 800 stakeholders.
The 2025 Strategy is the second iteration after the 2020 plan was released in May 2018 with the then regional tourism target of $3.55 billion.
The South Australian Regional Visitor Strategy 2025 aligns with the South Australian Visitor Economy Sector Plan 2030, which sets a target for total visitor expenditure in the state of $12.8 billion.
Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison said regional tourism is a huge contributor to South Australia’s visitor economy – now worth a record-high almost $4 billion to the state.
"For every tourism dollar spent in South Australia, 48 cents is spent in the regions – up from 44 cents in 2019," Minister Bettison said.
"With six of the 11 regions having already beat their targets set for 2025, and four regions cracking an all-time high – these are fantastic indicators that our plan to recover the industry from the impacts of the pandemic is on track.
"The South Australian Regional Visitor Strategy sees the sector working together to continue to drive this strong progress for our state."
SA Regional Visitor Strategy Steering Committee Chair, Helen Edwards said "there’s no doubt we’ve made fantastic inroads for regional tourism".
"Collectively, we’ve nearly achieved the target set for December 2025 and there are four regions which have achieved record visitor expenditure levels," Ms Edwards said.
"This is an outstanding result, achieved through strong collaboration across the regions involving local, state and federal governments, regional tourism bodies, and importantly, hundreds of operators.
"The results also reflect the support from many South Australians who visited our regions during the pandemic.
"As a strategy developed ‘by the regions for the regions’, the Regional Visitor Strategy is our roadmap to continue to drive outcomes for regional tourism and keep the industry strong for the tens of thousands of South Australians it employs."
Find more information about the SA Regional Visitor Strategy, including the latest progress snapshots.