11 Jul 2022

SA tourism nears pre pandemic economic recovery

Central Market Tours
Central Market Tours

Tourism in South Australia is celebrating yet again, after visitor spending is almost on par with pre-pandemic levels and the interstate market reaches a new post-pandemic record high.

Latest National Visitor Survey statistics released today show the net position of South Australia’s visitor economy in April 2022 was 95 per cent of 2019 levels.

Data also shows that in the 12 months to March 2022, the interstate market grew to reach a new post-pandemic record high of $1.8 billion.

Latest statistics from the South Australian Tourism Commission* show:

  • The net position of the entire visitor economy for April 2022 was 95 per cent of 2019 levels. This is the third strongest relative performance since the pandemic began, behind only the months of May and December in 2021.
  • In April 2022, South Australia saw strong growth in visitor expenditure compared to pre-COVID levels in both the intrastate and interstate markets.
  • April saw 224,000 interstate overnight visitors spend $274 million (up 10 per cent on April 2019) and 455,000 intrastate overnight visitors spend $288 million (up 18 per cent on April 2019).
  • In the 12 months to March 2022, total South Australian visitor expenditure came to $6.1 billion, down 25 per cent on its 2019 $8.1 billion high, but ahead of the national result where expenditure has fallen 38 per cent.
  • In the 12 months to March, the interstate market has grown to reach a new post-pandemic high of $1.8 billion (worth $2.7 billion pre-COVID).

*National Visitor Survey, month of April 2022 and year ending March 2022.

Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison said to have visitor expenditure hit 95 per cent of pre-COVID levels is remarkable and points to the strength of our offerings here in South Australia.

"We’re seeing strong interstate visitation and continued interest from locals, and this is on top of the recent boost in aviation, the record accommodation occupancy rates, and the fantastic events being held right now across our city and regional SA," she said.

"There’s no doubt we’ve still got some way to go but the data consistently shows that tourism in South Australia is on the right track, it’s recovering strongly, and it is leading the nation in many ways."

EcoCaddy owner/operator Daniels Langeberg said it’s been pretty clear people are eager to travel.

"We’ve been seeing interstaters as well as a lot of local activity still, with plenty of Adelaideans who want to explore their own backyard," he said.

"There’s been a noticeable increase in forward bookings too, people from interstate and overseas are booking with us as far ahead as January and February next year which provides more certainty and speaks to the confidence in travel."

Central Market Tours operator Mark Gleeson said there has been a huge rebound of visitors back into the city, and they are coming from all over Australia.

"We’ve also seen the first of the international tourists from Singapore, Indonesia and the UK," he said.

"People are staying longer and are keen to explore more of SA, from bars and restaurants to our wineries in our regions.

"It is certainly spiking, both with tours and our retail outlet, and we’re looking to employ more staff as well as retrain some of the staff that we lost during the peak of COVID."