The Weatherill Government has been criticised for neglecting regional South Australia in light of statistics released by the South Australia Tourism Commission (SATC) revealing plummeting visitor nights spent in South Australia’s regions.
Shadow Minister for Tourism David Ridgway has identified 7 out of South Australia’s 12 tourism regions which experienced a fall in the number of nights visitors were spending in each region, totalling over one million over the past 2 years.
In the year ended June 2014 official figures show a;
- 109 000 decrease in visitor nights in the Limestone Coast;
- 239 000 decrease in visitor nights in the Murraylands;
- 39 000 decrease in visitor nights in the Fleurieu Peninsula;
- 71 000 decrease in visitor nights in the Clare Valley;
- 552 000 decrease in visitor nights in the Flinders Ranges and Outback;
- 281 000 decrease in visitor nights in Yorke Peninsula; and a
- 23 000 decrease in visitor nights on Kangaroo Island;
Source: South Australian Tourism Commission
Mr Ridgway said this amounted to a calamitous net decrease of 849 000 visitor nights across regional South Australia in addition to a decrease of 169 000 nights in the previous year.
“South Australia prides itself on its regions so it is very disappointing to see 7 of our 12 tourism regions record a decrease in visitor nights,” said Mr Ridgway.
“The loss of more than one million visitor nights in the past two years is a substantial loss of investment in our regional economies.
“Decreasing visitor nights is affecting small tourism business operators and jobs growth throughout regional South Australia.
“These figures also highlight the foolishness of the Weatherill Government’s decision to give the multi-national Pernod Ricard $1 million rather than invest that money across a number of locally owned wineries in premier wine regions.
“Tourist numbers to the Clare Valley, Limestone Coast and Fleurieu Peninsula would benefit from a targeted investment in local wineries.
“Instead the Weatherill Government decided to gift one million dollars to a multinational company that posted a one billion euro profit last year.”