South Australian Tourism Commission
An unprecedented regional tourism boom and a surge in domestic interest in South Australia has sparked a record 12.6 million visits to the state’s main tourism portal, southaustralia.com, in the past 12 months, as well as the highest regional occupancy rate recorded.
As the visitor economy struggles to regain its high of $ 8.1 billion in 2019, the South Australian Tourism Commission recorded over 3.3 million direct leads to South Australian tourism companies and events for fiscal year 2020/21 – more than triple that of the previous record of 1 million leads in 2019/20.
It comes when Adelaide earned the title of Australia’s Most Livable City, Australia’s Second Most Popular Tourist Destination under the federal government’s half price airline ticket program, and the busiest CBD hotels in mainland Australia in March. Regional SA has had record high night stays for six months in a row, and total visitor spending in South Australia reached 93 percent of pre-COVID levels (March 2019) as of March this year, even excluding international tourists.
The latest data from the global hotel analysis company STR also show that regional tourism continues to boom. Overnight stays hit 71% in May 2021 – the highest number of overnight stays in the South Australia region since 2013, when records began. Prior to COVID-19, the corresponding May 2019 occupancy was 54% and last year, in the middle of the pandemic, it was 18% – showing a dramatic rebound in support of the state’s tourism sector.
SATC chief Rodney Harrex said South Australia is way above its weight and tourism companies are reaping the rewards.
“In an incredibly difficult time for tourism, we saw that interest in South Australia had reached an all-time high – not only domestically, as we all vacationed closer to us, but also worldwide with our new ranking of the world’s third most attractive city.
“Over 3 million direct leads to South Australian tourism companies were generated in the past fiscal year – that’s 3 million phone calls, emails or a ‘book now’ from a consumer, the SA, to one of the more than 8,000 tourism companies and events taking place at the List listed, wants to travel southaustralia.com, ”said Harrex.
“That’s 3 million signs of support for our sector, 3 million commission-free inquiries or bookings with a South Australian tourism company or event. The fact that we have more than tripled last year’s record shows what we can achieve with incredible organizers, sensational festivals and effective campaigns like the Great State Voucher program. “
The SATC invests in marketing to drive consumers to southaustralia.com and to ensure that entries are prominently represented when searching the Internet. There are no website listing costs, no commission fees, and operators can update their listing as they make changes or improvements to their business. Operators are encouraged to compile a list on the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW), the national database of digital tourism information, that includes accommodations, events, tours and experiences, food and drink deals, and more.
Willunga Winery Hither & Yon owner Malcolm Leask said access to ATDW helped list more winery events and open the door to more visitors to the area.
“We’re at the boutique end of the scale, but the past 12 months have been the best we’ve had in our Willunga basement gate in our 10 years in business. There is a real hustle and bustle in the high street. We see a real mix of visitors, and they look forward to exploring and spending more. We hear this from our friends in the Vale, the region flies, ”said Mr Leask.
“Tourism is really growing for us with our bike rentals, wine tastings, bespoke events and we’re opening the door to a nice B’n’B in Kangarilla in July. So we are really investing in our space for the future, thanks to the support of all the passionate South Australians out there. “
Adelaide Hills-based perry producer and restaurant Paracombe Premium Perry has seen tremendous business growth thanks to its listing on southaustralia.com.
Damian McArdle, CEO of Paracombe Premium Perry said, “When we started, I registered our business on the ATDW platform without knowing what it was or how it worked. In retrospect, it was one of the best things we did. It put our new business without an online presence in front of national and state tourism organizations and a whole host of customers whom we would probably never have reached without the listing. We now see the ATDW as a ‘must-have’ for our business and recommend everyone around us to register on the platform. “
“I encourage all South Australian tourism businesses, from bars, restaurants, wineries and distilleries to tours, experiences and events, to ensure they have an active list on the ATDW. It’s an easy way to grow visibility and bookings across our state’s tourism sector as we work to reclaim our visitor economy and capitalize on record-breaking regional tourism demand, ”said Harrex.