08 Oct 2022

Tourist spending near or above pre COVID levels for fourth month running

Food Tours Australia at Adelaide Central Market
Food Tours Australia at Adelaide Central Market

Interstaters and locals are holidaying in South Australia more than they did prior to the pandemic, helping drive visitor expenditure to 2019 levels.

Latest data shows interstate expenditure is continuing to exceed pre COVID highs and the intrastate market saw unseasonably strong growth in winter – factors which drove the state’s total visitor expenditure in July to 99 per cent of 2019 levels, despite the still recovering international market.

At $721 million spent on tourism in July 2022, it was just shy of the $727 million spent in July 2019 – a year when international visitation was at its peak.

It is the fourth consecutive month in which visitor expenditure was near or above pre-COVID levels.

Latest National Visitor Survey data from the South Australian Tourism Commission shows:

  • The net position of South Australia’s visitor economy in July 2022 was 99 per cent of pre pandemic (July 2019)
  • At $721 million, it includes $656 million in domestic spend (interstate and intrastate) – up 16 per cent on pre COVID (July 2019 at $565 million)
  • Interstate spend of $273 million in July 2022 was up 6 per cent on pre COVID (July 2019 at $259 million)
  • Intrastate spend of $238 million in July 2022 was up 25 per cent on pre COVID (July 2019 at $190 million).

Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said it is incredibly exciting to see the momentum of tourism recovery continue so strongly.

"We’ve now hit the fourth consecutive month of visitor expenditure near or above levels seen prior to the pandemic," Minister Bettison said.

"We know summer and the festivals around March are big drivers of tourism, but to see the strength in interstate and intrastate visitation continue through the winter is fantastic and shows the appetite to explore South Australia remains strong.

"As we look forward to warmer weather and more major events, as well as further recovery of our international market, we’re in a terrific position to see the value of our state’s visitor economy really skyrocket."

Food Tours Australia administration coordinator, Cheryl Turner said it "means the world to have people back again".

"We’ve seen clear growth in our business each month, with the domestic market really taking off, strong group bookings through our partner tour agents, school groups of up to 100 students through our educational program, and interest is growing from overseas, from the UK and US," she said.

"We’re in a much better space than we’ve been in well over two years and it’s just so heart-warming to have our tours of the Adelaide Central Market not just back on – but booming."