27 Sep 2023

Tourism spend reaches record high as industry celebrates World Tourism Day

South Australia’s tourism industry has reached another record-high visitor spend, as the sector shines in the global spotlight on World Tourism Day. 

New data released today by Tourism Research Australia shows total visitor expenditure in South Australia in the 12 months to June 2023 hit $9.9 billion – a new all-time high for the state.

Strong growth in interstate and international expenditure over the year helped drive the state’s visitor economy from $6.1 billion at June 2022 to its now $9.9 billion, an increase of $3.8 billion in just 12 months.

International expenditure in the state increased by 24 per cent in the last quarter alone, now worth $1 billion, just shy of its pre pandemic $1.2 billion.   

Major events in the June quarter helped drive tourism spend, with the inaugural AFL Gather Round and LIV Golf Adelaide, as well as the NRL State of Origin attracting strong out-of-state visitation. 

Latest International and National Visitor Survey results (year ending June 2023) show:

  • Total visitor expenditure in South Australia reached $9.9 billion – a new all-time high and an increase of 6 per cent on the year to March 2023, ahead of the national growth of 3 per cent.
  • During the 12-month period, the visitor economy grew from $6.1 billion to $9.9 billion, an increase of $3.8 billion.
  • International spend has grown to $1 billion, up from $814 million in the year ending March 2023 and just shy of the pre pandemic $1.2 billion in December 2019.
  • Interstate and intrastate spend reached record-highs, at $3.5 billion and $3.2 billion respectively.
  • Visitor spend in regional South Australia and Adelaide reached record levels, at $4.7 billion and $5.3 billion respectively.
  • The June quarter saw Adelaide visitor expenditure rise by $354 million, fuelled by major events including the AFL Gather Round, LIV Golf Adelaide, and the NRL State of Origin.

Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said there are 9.9 billion reasons to celebrate this World Tourism Day, as the industry hits a new record high.  

"With $9.9 billion in visitor spend in South Australia over the year, it’s one massive milestone and it’s encouraging to see our state above the national average and international spend nearing pre pandemic levels," Minister Bettison said. 

"With some softening of the visitor economy expected nationally, it’s really important we keep this momentum going strong and that’s exactly why we invest in demand drivers like major events and work hard to grow key sectors like cruise. 

On World Tourism Day, I want to thank and congratulate the diverse tourism operators we have across the state, who continue to provide world-class offerings that attract visitors from near and far – to help us achieve our record $9.9 billion visitor economy."