New events part of plan to grow South Australia’s regional tourism sector to $4 billion by 2025

South Australia’s tourism sector has unveiled a “road map to regional visitor recovery” with aims to grow the state’s regional tourism sector by $1.3 billion to $4 billion by 2025.

Building on the 2020 strategy, the 2025 South Australian Regional Visitor Strategy (RVS) outlines eight strategic pillars including creating new and supporting existing regional events, in addition to targeted digital marketing and enhancing existing tourism experiences and creating new offerings.

“The past 12 months have been incredibly challenging for tourism, but through our dedicated stimulus and support programs like Great State Voucher and the Tourism Industry Development Fund, we’ve seen growth in regional tourism like never before,” said Premier Steven Marshall.

“More than 48 per cent of the state’s total visitor expenditure is spent in regions, up from 44 per cent at the end of 2019 – pre-bushfires, drought and COVID-19. As we navigate through these extraordinary times, it is critical that we keep this momentum going and keep regional tourism strong for the more than 24,000 South Australians it employs.”

The RVS steering committee comprises representatives from the Regional Tourism Chairs Forum, Regional Development Australia SA, Local Government Association of SA, Tourism Industry Council SA, and the South Australian Tourism Commission.

“The first Regional Visitor Strategy saw regions work together with a common goal, achieving our 2020 target of $3.6 billion a whole 12 months ahead of time,” said Regional Visitor Strategy steering committee chair Helen Edwards.

“Despite the enormous disruptions of the last year, regional tourism is proving its strength and its role in helping to kickstart the visitor economy.”

A new South Australian alliance is also hoping to boost a recovery for their sectors by promoting increased communication between the festival, arts and tourism sectors.

This Tourism Industry Council SA, Arts Industry Council SA, and Festivals Adelaide have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which aims to increase cross-industry collaboration and boost cultural visitation to Adelaide, and South Australia more broadly.

“The arts and tourism economies have been among those hardest hit by the pandemic and its related restrictions, and their recoveries will be closely linked to one another,” said Tourism Industry Council SA CEO Shaun deBruyn.

“In order to grow jobs and strengthen business, our three industry groups will work beyond our siloes for the greater good of our sectors and those working in them.

“This alliance will deliver jobs and business stability in the short-term and growth for years to come, and will greatly increase our industries capacities and capabilities.”

The alliance will aim to work with government to shape policy that is conducive to business development and growth in culture tourism; encourage systematic investment in the State’s cultural attractions; and address the need for capacity, capability, and infrastructure development.

“Mechanisms that support businesses and adjoining industries to derive benefit from our year-round festivals, arts, cultural attractions, and the visitors they bring into and circulate around the City and State, must be either significantly bolstered or reimagined,” said Festivals Adelaide CEO Justyna Jochym.

“A critical component of any strategic process is the indirect advantage of building bridges among diverse industries and spheres of government.

“This requires a sophisticated and cross-sectoral approach, one that is proportionate to our global ambition.”