South Australia’s tourism spend hits new $10.2bn record


South Australia’s tourism industry has reached new heights, exceeding $10 billion in total visitor expenditure for the first time.

The latest data from Tourism Research Australia shows total visitor expenditure in South Australia for the year-ending September 2023 reached $10.2 billion, and that international expenditure has surpassed its pre-pandemic value to hit a record $1.22 billion.

Interstate spend has also reached a high of $3.6 billion, up $69 million in the last quarter with intrastate spend steady at a high of $3.2 billion.

Visitor spend in regional South Australia remains strong at $4.7 billion, driven by the intrastate market and re-emerging international market, while visitor spend in Adelaide is at a record $5.6 billion, driven by strong growth from the international market.

“With an expected easing of the tourism economy nationally in the coming year, we are continuing to invest in demand drivers like major events and our push to grow key sectors like cruise,” said Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison.

“In 2024 we will welcome back a host of major events like the second editions of AFL Gather Round and LIV Golf Adelaide which have both seen incredible demand for tickets, as well as calendar favourites like the Santos Tour Down Under where I am today.

“On top of this, a record number of cruise ship visits, another round of River Revival Vouchers, exciting new product including the reopening of Southern Ocean Lodge in Kangaroo Island…are pulling all levers to help entice visitors to book a trip to South Australia in 2024.”

Australian Hotels Association SA CEO Anna Moeller said the data supporting this record milestone reinforces that tourism and hospitality has the potential to be a significant engine room for jobs and investment in South Australia.

“These results are reflective of the continuing recovery of the industry post the devastation of Covid,” Moeller said.