South Australia has more than doubled the national growth rate for international tourism by recording a 10.9 percent increase in visitors to this State in the past 12 months.
Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said the latest figures show South Australia has clearly outperformed the other states as a destination for international visitors.
“While most states have shown some growth during the past year, South Australia has definitely led the pack,” Mr Bignell said.
In the 12 months to September 2013, South Australia attracted a total of 362,000 international visitors. Along with the increase in numbers, visitor spending increased 2.2 percent in the same period.
Chinese holiday makers have been the major driver of growth with an increase of 47 percent in the same 12-month period, followed by a 32 percent increase in visitors from the US.
The latest performance figures come on the back of South Australia this week being named in the top 10 travel destinations for 2014, joining South Africa, New Orleans and Brazil in the rankings put out by Flight Centre, one of Australia’s leading travel agents.
“Despite a strong Australian dollar and a challenging global economic climate in recent times, South Australia has remained more than competitive compared to other Australian destinations,” Mr Bignell said.
“The outlook is also increasingly promising for South Australia with opportunities to make the most of the Lonely Planet’s recognition of Adelaide as the top 10 destination in 2014 and now the Flight Centre’s accolade.
“Our biggest opportunity for international tourism growth lies in the Chinese holiday maker market and it’s fantastic that the number of Chinese visitors has almost doubled in the past year.
“We’ve also had some great wins in increasing airline access to Adelaide during the past 12 months and have welcomed three new international airlines.
“The demand for South Australia is clearly growing in our key international markets and the visitors are arriving.
“Our next challenge is to encourage them to stay for longer and spend more money while on holiday.
“The South Australian Government is driving this strategy through its award winning international marketing campaigns and trade partner activity in our key markets.”
‘Visiting Friends and Relatives’ travel has grown a significant 16.5 percent and holiday purpose travel has grown 10.6 percent, both well ahead of national growth rate of 7.5 percent and 7.4 percent respectively.
The International Visitor Survey Results are available online thanks to Tourism Research Australia.