02 Oct 2021

School’s out and spending is in – multi-million boost for tourism

Tour operator Temptation Sailing – owners Zac and Will
Tour operator Temptation Sailing – owners Zac and Will

South Australians are looking and booking local this school holidays, with an estimated $200 million spending blast helping drive recovery and supporting local jobs faster than forecasted.

The latest National Visitor Survey statistics, released this week by Tourism Research Australia, show SA’s total visitor expenditure in the 12 months to June 2021 has recovered to $5.8 billion, well ahead of the impact forecast of $4.9 billion.

It comes as new data available to the South Australian Tourism Commission shows South Australians will spend an estimated $50 million in the state’s visitor economy this October long weekend.

Premier Steven Marshall said the data shows that people remain eager to see South Australia and tourism support schemes are stimulating travel and supporting South Australian jobs.

“Despite the challenges, tourism in South Australia is tracking in the right direction,” Premier Marshall said.

“Visitor expenditure in our state is well ahead of projections and what we are doing to support the industry is working.

“Through tourism stimulus schemes like Great State Voucher and backing regional growth with the Tourism Industry Development Fund – we are driving bookings for businesses, getting staff rostered on, and helping meet record-high intrastate demand.

“With a $200 million cash injection set for tourism this school holidays, I thank South Australians for continuing to get out and about to see what our incredible state has to offer,” Premier Marshall said.

Latest data shows:

  • Results from Tourism Research Australia for year-end June 2021 have seen expenditure recover to $5.8 billion, ahead of the SATC’s original impact forecast of $4.9 billion. In fact, that modelling is now anticipating a recovery of the visitor economy to $6.3 billion by June 2022, as SA tracks back to its 2019 $8.1 billion high.
  • For the 12 months to June 2021:
    • Intrastate expenditure increased 29 per cent to a record-high $2.6 billion.
    • Intrastate visitation grew 14 per cent to 4.9 million visits, the third highest result on record.
    • Regional visitor expenditure grew to $3.5 billion, up 25 per cent and nearing pre-COVID levels.
    • While interstate overnight expenditure fell 15 per cent to $1.7 billion, it was well up on the March 2021 result of $939 million and also well ahead of projections.
  • Great State Voucher rounds five and six have already generated more than 23,000 bookings across tours, experiences and accommodation.
  • This long weekend is set for some of the highest single day bookings in these rounds so far, with more than 1,000 bookings on experiences from Saturday to Monday, and over 1,000 bookings made with CBD hotels for Sunday night alone.
  • Total long weekend estimated spend in South Australia’s tourism industry is $50 million, based on increased intrastate activity and record regional visitor expenditure.

South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive Rodney Harrex said he’s been out in region hearing first-hand from operators across all sectors of the industry.

“From Coffin Bay and Kimba in the Eyre Peninsula, Renmark and Berri in the Riverland, to Robe and even Mt Gambier in the Limestone Coast, the number of South Australians embracing regional getaways and spending with local businesses is impressive,” Mr Harrex said.

“In fact, the Clare Valley has already smashed its 2025 target, recording $134 million in visitor expenditure in the 12 months to March 2021 – two million dollars more than what it set out to achieve in four years’ time.

“While there are pockets of the industry that this local boom doesn’t extend to – such as CBD hotels and tour operators which are more heavily impacted by the downturn in interstaters – we’re doing everything we can to drive people and dollars to them, with more than 90,000 Great State Vouchers in market right now and the city-focused #GoToTown campaign.”

Tour operator, Temptation Sailing, which offers different catamaran cruise options including a ‘dolphin swim cruise’ and ‘twilight cruise’ leaving from Glenelg is part of Great State Voucher round five.

William Pyke, owner/operator of Temptation Sailing said the vouchers have provided a bookings and marketing push at exactly the right time.

“Having just kicked off this year’s season, after taking the reins at Temptation Sailing, my business partner Zac and I are thrilled to see how popular our dolphin and sunset cruises have been among South Australians,” he said.

“The Great State Vouchers have not only got more people booking with us, they’re extending our business to customers who weren’t previously aware of our products and it’s got people telling their friends about how much they enjoyed the experience and encouraging them to book with us too.

“We offer cruises that suit individuals, families, couples, and groups of friends, and in November we’ll be operating seven days a week. With warm weather ahead and spaces still available these school holidays, our message to South Australians is we’re here and we’re ready to welcome you aboard.”

Bookings for rounds five and six of the Great State Voucher scheme close at 11.59pm on Thursday 14 October, for travel until 28 November and 10 December 2021 respectively.