The Tourism Research Australia report shows that the number of visitor nights rose by 13 per cent, while the amount of money spent was up by 38 per cent – to $954 million.
Tourism Minister Leon Bignell credited “game changers” such as the redeveloped Adelaide Oval and Convention Centre with helping to “put SA on the map as we market our state to the world”.
He said the launch of Qatar Airways flights from Adelaide had also opened up connections with more than 140 destinations and would further boost the tourism sector.
“Tourism is big business in terms of the jobs it sustains and creates and it is made up of thousands of small to medium-size operators who do a brilliant job selling the state’s attractions.”
Nationally, the number of international visitors to Australia increased by 9 per cent to 7.1 million in the year to March, the TRA figures show, with a 17 per cent rise in spending to a record $37.9 billion.
Most states and territories recorded positive results, with the biggest increase in visitor numbers in Victoria and the ACT – both up 13 per cent. Only the Northern Territory had a decline (-3 per cent).
China continues to drive the biggest increase in international visitors to Australia, with the number up 38 per cent. In South Australia, however, the greatest growth was in the number of arrivals from the United States (+41 per cent).
Around 270 tourism industry delegates are today attending the South Australian Tourism Industry Council’s annual Tourism Conference in Adelaide, with speakers from organisations including Tourism Australia, the SA Tourism Commission, Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art, and SeaLink Travel Group. There will also be a discussion on the sharing economy and the challenges and opportunities it presents.
The State Government is aiming to increase the value of the sector to $8 billion by 2020.
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