Regions record-breaking tourism spend as school holidays kick off
Regional South Australia is kicking off the school holidays with a new record-high visitor spend, as eight of the state’s 11 tourism regions reach an all-time high and 10 regions surpass their 2025 tourism targets.
Latest data from Tourism Research Australia shows regional visitor expenditure hit a record $4.7 billion in the 12 months to June 2023, surpassing the target set for 2025 of $4.0 billion.
The Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula, Flinders Ranges & Outback, Kangaroo Island, Limestone Coast, Murray River, Lakes & Coorong, Riverland, and Yorke Peninsula – all saw visitor spend reach record-highs.
An impressive 10 of the 11 regions have beaten their tourism targets set out in the 2025 South Australian Regional Visitor Strategy.
The record-breaking performance is driven by continued strength in the intrastate market and the recovering international market.
It comes as school holidays start in South Australia and tourism operators get set for an influx of visitors exploring the state while a regional event calendar is filling up fast for the year with events such as:
- Grenache and Gourmet (Fleurieu Peninsula): 15 September – 1 October
- Coonawarra Cabernet Celebrations (Limestone Coast): 29 September – 31 October
- Ceduna Oysterfest (Eyre Peninsula): 30 September – 1 October
- Anlaby Spring Festival (Barossa Valley): 14 – 15 October
- TPS South Australia (Fleurieu Peninsula): 19 October – 22 October
- Bay to Birdwood (Adelaide Hills): 22 October
- Riverland Rose & Garden Festival (Riverland): 20 – 29 October
- Handpicked Festival (Fleurieu Peninsula): 11 November
Highlights for regional South Australia from the International and National Visitor Survey results (year ending June 2023) show:
- Total visitor expenditure in regional South Australia hit $4.7 billion – an all-time high which has exceeded the target set in the 2025 SA Regional Visitor Strategy of $4.0 billion.
- Eight regions hit record-high visitor expenditure, including: Adelaide Hills at $272 million, Fleurieu Peninsula at $834 million, Flinders Ranges & Outback at $690 million, Kangaroo Island at $294 million, Limestone Coast at $565 million, Murray River Lakes & Coorong at $303 million, Riverland at $259 million, and Yorke Peninsula at $484 million.
- Ten of the 11 regions have surpassed their 2025 tourism targets, including: Adelaide Hills, Barossa, Eyre Peninsula, Fleurieu Peninsula, Flinders Ranges & Outback, Kangaroo Island, Limestone Coast, Murray River Lakes & Coorong, Riverland, and Yorke Peninsula.
Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said it is always great to see South Australia's regions perform so strong as we emerge from the impacts of the pandemic and the state is on its way to full recovery.
"The tourism landscape has changed significantly in South Australia and that reflects in the latest record-breaking data that indicate that eight of the state’s 11 tourism regions have reached an all-time high and 10 regions have already surpassed their 2025 tourism targets," Minister Bettison said.
"With school holidays just around the corner, I invite all South Australians to discover their own backyard and I encourage interstate visitors to explore our unique landscapes and world-class offerings."
TreeClimb Managing Director, Seb Packer said TreeClimb has had a bumber year, far exceeding all expectations.
"We’re now seeing a huge rise in interstate and overseas tourists to all our sites," Mr Packer said.
"Based on our forward bookings our newly opened Kuitpo Forest TreeClimb is again set for a really strong holiday period.
"There’s no doubt we’re seeing a surge in visitors to the Fleurieu area with well over 45,000 visitors hitting the treetops at TreeClimb Kuitpo since we opened just over 9 months ago, well above our early estimates."