SA back on show in the US
Some of South Australia’s best tourism operators are in America this week for the first of two international roadshows designed to showcase the state as an iconic must-see destination.
In a sign that international travel is back, the South Australian Tourism Commission is making the arrangements and supporting 24 tourism businesses with the opportunity to attend a series of one-to-one workshops and networking events across three key cities in North America from 18-23 March.
The SATC roadshows aim to strengthen awareness and grow market presence in the North American market, which was worth $80 million a year to the state’s visitor economy pre COVID.
A second roadshow in the UK and Europe later this year has also been confirmed – focusing on recovering the once $182 million markets.
North America, UK and Europe are identified as priority markets in the SATC’s International Tourism Strategy 2025, which aims to reclaim the state’s international market to its pre pandemic record-high of $1.2 billion by December 2025.
Latest data shows international visitor expenditure is still significantly down on its pre COVID value – which is why it is important that South Australia is active in key markets and spotlighting iconic operators.
The SATC will target markets like the UK and North America which are expected to return more strongly because they skew towards the high-value traveler and Working Holiday Maker markets.
They also generally have reliable airline access to Australia and Adelaide, and the tourism offerings available resonate with visitors from these markets.
Leading tourism operators that have internationally relevant experiences and products will join the roadshow, shining a spotlight on South Australia’s food and wine regions, luxury accommodation, iconic beaches, parks and outback as well as wildlife experiences.
More than 200 key travel wholesaler partners and retail travel agents will meet South Australian operators in workshops in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles.
In conjunction with the Roadshows, the SATC is also hosting two media events in New York and Napa Valley, with key lifestyle and travel media including Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Travel & Leisure, Cosmopolitan, AFAR, Departures, Conde Nast Traveller, Lonely Planet and LA Times among those invited.
Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said this is a market once worth $1.2 billion to the state and it is why it is so crucial that South Australia is front and centre in key global markets.
"Prior to the pandemic, tourists from North America, UK and Europe generated a combined $262 million in visitor spend – making up some of our state’s biggest markets," Minister Bettison said.
"In a highly competitive post-pandemic world, where everyone is fighting to reclaim the tourist dollar, we are putting South Australia face-to-face with the people who will help sell it."
Exceptional Kangaroo Island, Blair Wickham said it is fantastic to be heading to North America to reconnect with our travel distribution and media partners later this month.
"North America is a key market for us at Exceptional Kangaroo Island, and we are eager to strengthen existing relationships and cultivate new ones that will drive South Australia’s tourism growth," Mr Wickham said.
"Online meeting platforms such as Zoom were essential during COVID lockdowns and border closures, however there is simply no substitute for face-to-face meetings.
"It is great to see the South Australian Tourism Commission recognise the importance and value of bringing a selection of the state’s leading operators to North America. These trade distribution relationships are critical for South Australia’s recovery and continued growth as a tourism industry.
"South Australia’s blend of authentic experiences, unspoiled nature, excellent food and wine, and warm hospitality is a major attraction for American and Canadian travellers.
"As we prepare to reconnect with our key markets in North America, we are excited to showcase the unique qualities that set our region apart and invite more visitors to discover the magic of South Australia.
Small Batch Wine Tours, Matthew Kurko said it was an incredible initiative from the State Government, targeting our key inbound tourism markets with laser-like precision.
"Immersing key tourism decision-makers in all things South Australia will do so much more to help rebuild our tourism industry than any 30-second ad or billboard ever could," Mr Kurko said.
"It’s a tough and competitive market attracting international tourists. This roadshow will cut right through the noise, making a huge statement to the world that South Australia should absolutely be next on your bucket list.
"This is a massive win for the South Australian tourism sector as a whole, especially the small businesses like ours who had it so incredibly tough over Covid."