South Australia set for challenging decade according to new tourism stats

New figures show the tourism industry in South Australia is facing challenging times.

South Australia is set for stagnant growth in the number of visitor nights next financial year, according to statistics from Tourism Research Australia, and is the only state to have a projected decline in overall international visitor nights.

The 10-year forecast is for visitor nights to grow at 2.1 per cent in SA, below the national average of three per cent.

“Less favourable influences included concerns regarding the economic outlook, the federal election, increased competition particularly from unlicensed tourism operators, as well as an increase in state taxes,” Tourism Industry Council of SA Chief Shaun de Bruyn told The Advertiser.

Tourism Minister David Ridgway said the next decade would present challenges amid global economic uncertainty.

“The impact on international markets and the way people choose to travel will ultimately adapt and change accordingly,” he said.

But Opposition tourism spokeswoman Zoe Bettison said the $23 million in Budget cuts had hit the sector.

“The growth forecasts for the industry reflect how poorly this Government have performed in the tourism portfolio,” she said.

“We need to better market South Australia and attract more direct flights.”